Choki Wangmo 

Bhutan Exporters Association (BEA) will resume export of cardamom by tomorrow according to the Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) for export by private exporters.

The SOP was issued by the agriculture ministry recently.

The SOP, prepared to reduce Covid-19 risk, is applicable for export of apple, orange, vegetables, cardamom, and ginger.

Export of the agricultural and horticultural products were affected due to Covid-19 and subsequent containment measures in the country.

An official with the BEA, said that despite challenges, the association could export cardamom towards the end of May which was stopped completely after the nationwide lockdown last month.

He said that BEA’s expectation was to export about 100 metric tonnes of cardamom to Bangladesh this year. The company also exports ginger to India.

Cardamom is procured from farmers by small traders or farmers bring the spice to Samtse, Sipsu, Phuentsholing and other towns.

He, however, said that market for ginger and cardamom in Bangladesh had gone down. “The pandemic has affected the market in India as well.”

Due to border closure, there was no export of cardamom to Siliguri except one consignment in the beginning of June, he said.

The SOP mandates the exporters to communicate with the importers, make deals and ask them to open letters of credit from banks which will be opened tomorrow in Phuentsholing.

BEA will coordinate with the exporters and producers for the transportation of apples and oranges from source to mini dry port/ regional revenue and customs office/ Phuentsholing Higher Secondary School ground in Phuentsholing and coordinate transshipment of consignments to India and Bangladesh.

The vehicles moving in and out of transshipment area will be strictly monitored by Royal Bhutan Army or De-Suup in compliance with the mini dry port  containment protocols and health advisories.

Meanwhile, the recent SOP issued by the Department of Revenue and Customs for importers and exporters requires online submission of documents for goods clearance to regional revenue and customs office a day before the entry of the vehicle.

The export and import documents to India and third country are provided by the department on their website and social media pages.