Indian customs halts cement consignment

Indian customs halts cement consignment
Published: 01 October 2007

Petrapole Customs Authority of India has stopped a consignment of Confidence
Cement seeking a test of standard of the product, much to the frustration of
Bangladeshi exporters.

Sources said the customs authority at West Bengal, India on Thursday stopped
the consignment of 60 tonnes of cement manufactured by Confidence Cement,
which is the first-ever consignment from Bangladesh through Benapole land
port.

A high official of Confidence Cement said they sent the consignment to
Benapole land port on September 23 for exporting it to a buyer at West
Bengal after completion of all the formalities.

"We have been exporting around 700 to 800 tonnes of cement a month to
Tripura since 2005 after obtaining the required certificate from the Bureau
of Indian Standard (BSI)," said Zahir Uddin Ahmad, deputy general manager of
Confidence Cement.

A team from BSI visits every year the laboratories of different cement
factories having BSI certificates to inspect and examine the standard of the
products in order to renew the certificates, he said. So, the Petrapole
authority has no right to stop the consignment for examining it, Zahir said,
adding that it would need around 28 days for checking the quality of cement.

According to exporters, hundreds of tonnes of cement are being exported
every month to different eastern Indian states like Tripura and Assam
through Agartala and Sonamora land ports, but no such incident of halting
consignment have so far occurred.

Cement export from Bangladesh to India started in 2004, while different
local companies like Holcim (Bangladesh), Aramit and Confidence Cement took
initiatives to export the item to the eastern Indian states.