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Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

Why in news?

  • According to a recent World Bank report, transport connectivity between India and Bangladesh has the potential to increase national income by as much as 17 percent in Bangladesh and 8 percent in India.
  • The World Bank report Titled “Connecting to Thrive: Challenges and Opportunities of Transport Integration in Eastern South Asia,”  analyzes the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)
  • Report com­pares it with international best practices and identifies its strengths as well as gaps for seamless regional connectivity.

What is BBIN? 

  • It is a sub-regional motor vehicle agreement (MVA) between Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
  • Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal signed a sub-regional Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) in June 2015 for regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular traffic between the four BBIN countries.
  • Under the system, cargo vehicles are tracked electronically, permits are issued online and sent electronically to all land ports.
  • Vehicles are fitted with an electronic seal that alerts regulators every time the container door is opened.
  • As per the agreement, member countries would allow vehicles registered in the other countries to enter their territory under certain terms and conditions.
  • Customs and tariffs will be decided by the respective countries and these would be finalised at bilateral and trilateral forums.

Benefits of BBIN  

  • Increased Real Income: All districts in Bangladesh would benefit from integration, with the eastern districts enjoying larger gains in real income. States bordering Bangladesh such as Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura in the northeast, and West Bengal on the west, and states further away from Bangladesh such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra would also gain huge economic benefits from seamless connectivity.
  • Economic benefits: Will yield a 297% increase in Bangladesh’s exports to India and a 172% increase in India’s exports to Bangladesh.
  • Strategic Significance: Geographically, Bangladesh’s location makes it a strategic gateway to India, Nepal, Bhutan, and other East Asian countries. Bangladesh can also become an economic powerhouse by improving regional trade, transit and logistics networks.

Objectives | Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

  • The main objective of the agreement is to provide seamless people-to-people contact
  • It will also enhance economic interaction by facilitating cross border movement of people and goods.

Challenges to the project

  • Bhutan’s environmental concerns due to the movement of passenger and cargo vehicles.
  • Right from the time the BBIN MVA was tabled for ratification, the draft legislation faced opposition in Bhutan. There have been fears of vehicular pollution and environmental degradation if trucks from neighbouring countries are given access to Bhutan.
  • Travel restrictions at the border and lack of infrastructure at the borders
  • A trial run of cargo transport between Kolkata and Agartala through Dhaka, reducing the distance by nearly two-thirds, was flagged as part of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) sub-regional initiative for uninterrupted cargo movement.

Recommendations of the report |  Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

  • Integration of Local Communities:
    • Removing logistics bottlenecks in export-oriented value chains.
    • Connecting local markets to regional corridors.
    • Improving women’s participation in export-oriented agricultural value chains at the macro, community, and household levels.
  • Strengthen the MVA:
    • Establishing an efficient regional transit regime.
    • Harmonizing driver’s licensing and visa regimes.
    • Liberalizing the selection of trade routes.
    • Rationalizing and digitizing trade and transport documents.
  • Improving Regional Connectivity:
    • Ensure competition in transport service markets.
    • Expand the effective capacity of core transport and logistics infrastructure along regional corridors.
    • Develop off-border custom clearance facilities in Bangladesh and India.
    • Deploy modern information technology infrastructure at land ports and seaports.



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