Following the issuance of Notice Chapter 69) Number 52 Nepal Gazette Part 5 dated 2020/04/06 by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Govt. of Nepal, a significant number of pepper consignments from Viet Nam were denied entry to Nepal. The aforementioned Notice stipulated the following:
The Notice has resulted to 58 containers of pepper consignments from 13 major Vietnamese exporters being denied entry to Nepal. Out of those 58 containers, 17 containers are still currently docked in India port awaiting to be shipped back to Viet Nam while the other 41 containers are still stuck in Nepal port as the Custom of Nepal denies the consignment to enter as well as to be re-exported back to Viet Nam as it requires approval from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies as well as Ministry of Finance Govt. of Nepal.
Despite the Notice clearly stipulated that the restriction will not be applicable for the L/C opened before the date of 29 March 2020, Vietnamese pepper consignments which estimated time departure ranging from 27 November 2019 thru 28 March 2020 were still affected by this Notice following the more rigorous safety measure amid the Global Pandemic of Corona Virus.
In response to the situation faced by the Vietnamese exporters, International Pepper Community immediately works together with the Vietnamese exporters, Ministry of Industry and Trade Viet Nam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Viet Nam, H.E. Vietnamese Ambassador to India, H.E. Ambassador of Nepal to New Delhi, and Viet Nam Pepper Association to liaise with the Government of Nepal through the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies. Following the joint effort of all parties, representative of the Vietnamese exporters in Nepal was able to have a meeting with the Secretary of Commerce and Supplies Govt. of Nepal Mr. Baikuntha Aryal upon which he shared positive feedback on the matters in hand. Contrary to the positive response by the Office of Commerce and Supplies Govt. of Nepal, Custom of Nepal has yet to receive any official approval to release the pepper consignment to be re-exported back to Viet Nam. As a result of the detainment of the pepper consignment, exporters experience difference kinds of losses; first is the loss of the quality of the consignment as it sits confined in the container for months, disruption of business which affected their bank loan was also one of the loss they have to endure as well as the high cost of demurrage as the containers docked up at the port. Therefore, International Pepper Community has also supported the exporters by communicating with the shipping line to request cutting down the cost of detention/demurrage which burdened the exporters as time progresses.
It is of the view of the International Pepper Community that the Government of Viet Nam ought to help the exporters issues bilaterally with Government of Nepal to ensure suitable measure being implemented to prevent repeated predicament in the future. Furthermore, International Pepper Community also believe that coordination and cooperation among relevant stakeholders are required to enhance collective action to protect not only Vietnamese exporter but all exporters in the global market.
Viet Nam pepper export to Nepal has increased significantly in recent years as shown in the figure below:
As a result of the issuance of the Notice by the Government of Nepal, it could be predicted that Vietnamese pepper export to Nepal would significantly decrease or else cease temporarily at least until exporters are convinced that the same problem won't happen again. Vietnamese exporter would definitely explore new market as Nepal becomes inaccessible.