KATHMANDU, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point, one of key trade routes between Nepal and China, will reopen on Monday after closure for six months due to snowfall and COVID-19, a senior official of Rasuwagadhi Customs Office of Nepal said.
It is one of the two main border points for international trade between the two neighbors. The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border crossing has remained closed since January, initially due to snowfall blocking the roads in the bordering region and later due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Tatopani-Zhangmu, another border point, reopened in late March after closing in January.
"We have reached an understanding with the Chinese side to resume operation of this border point starting from Monday for the import of goods from China," Punya Bikram Khadka, chief customs officer at the Rasuwagadhi Customs Office, told Xinhua on Sunday.
"There has been an understanding that 120 tonnes of goods will be delivered to Nepal every day initially."
He said the goods which have remained stranded in Kerung and other parts of China due to the border closure would get priority for delivery into Nepal.
According to Khadka, the Nepali government has already submitted a list of stranded goods equivalent to 1,100 smaller trucks to the Chinese side and the goods include electronics, machineries, equipment related to hydropower projects, electrical goods and garments.
The two sides agreed to reopen the border last month. After local authorities of both sides prepared the operational procedure defining how the movement of goods should proceed with minimal human contacts, the border is now ready to reopen from Monday.
As per the health protocol agreed, there will be no human contact between the people from Nepal and China who engage in delivery and management of goods. The Chinese cargo operators will leave the Nepal-bound goods at the bridge separating the two countries. Then Nepali drivers and other workers will take delivery of the goods and bring them to the Nepali customs offices.
Before the reopening of border points, bilateral trade between the two countries stood at 225 million U.S. dollars through the Rasuwgadhi-Kerung border point, according to the Department of Customs of Nepal. Enditem