The new rules of India on deciding the country of origin of a commodity could adversely affect its imports from Bangladesh, according to the Export Promotion Bureau and the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC). These laws hinder their attempts to reduce the trade gap between the two countries as described by government agencies.
Any clauses in these laws, according to the BTTC, contradict the SAFTA RoO rules (rules of origin). SAFTA requires duty-free entry into India, dependent on the paper referred to as the CoO of Origin (CoO) – as well as the operating or OCP Approval Procedures, for most products from the least developed countries (LDCs) including Bangladesh. SAFTA is a member of eight South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation and/or SAARC members, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which came into existence in January 2006 to improve intra-regional trade within South Asia, accounting for approximately 5per cent of the region’s total trading. In view of SAFTA’s RoO and OC, BTTC analyzed the new regulation.