Nepal - 2.1 Port Assessment

Nepal is a landlocked country and relies on the Port of Kolkata in India to handle practically all its sea freight imports.  The Government of Nepal owns a Container Freight Station (CFS) at Kolkata Dry Port which can store 500 containers.  

Nepal has multiple dry ports. Birgunj dry port is the largest dry port in terms of annual volume of cargo and income from customs duties and taxes.  

Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB), is a public-private partnership (PPP) entity that develops, manages, and promotes Inland Clearance Depots (ICDs) for the facilitation of Export and Import in Nepal. Currently, there are five ICDs in operation in the border towns of Nepal – India and Nepal – China border. Birgunj ICD, Bhairahawa ICD, Kakarvitta ICD are located at Nepal’s border town with India, Tatopani ICD is located at Nepal – China border and Chovar ICD is in the capital Kathmandu. The Rasuwagadhi ICD at Nepal – China border is under construction and is expected to be completed by 2026. Birgunj ICD is linked with both rail and road networks, other ICDs are linked via road only. 

Government of Nepal in collaboration with the Government of India is operating two Integrated Check Points (ICPs) at Birgunj and Biratnagar. Two other ICPs, one at Bhairahawa, is under construction, and another in Nepalgunj, has recently finished the construction and commencing operations are underway.    

[An ICP (Integrated check point): is a multipurpose customs check point, operating on both sides of the border, to facilitate cross-border trade and movement of people.] 


An ICD (Inland Clearance Depot): is a dry-port, purposely build to handle import, export, intermodal transfer, temporary storage and customs clearance of goods, with storage capacity, terminal buildings and logistics handling equipment. It is combination transport terminal and customs clearance point at an inland facility. Most ICDs in Nepal are operated on the border, next to an ICP (Birgunj, Bhairahawa), but it can also be located some distance away from the border customs check point or ICP (as in Biratnagar and  Kathmandu).] 

Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports 

The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports is aimed at promoting and developing dry ports of international importance as one of the means to establish an international integrated intermodal transport and logistics system within Asia as well as between Asia and its neighbouring regions. The dry ports registered and recognized as “Dry ports of International importance” are: Bhairahawa ICD, Birgunj ICD, Kakarbhitta ICD and Tatopani ICD. Tatopani ICD and Rasuwagadhi customs office are Nepal’s two main customs points with China. 

(Source: Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports

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