In order to generate hard currency, the Government of Bhutan has introduced measures to increase exports to third countries. (Trade with India is conducted in Indian rupees, which are nonconvertible.) The Ninth Five-Year Plan emphasises export earnings growth, through diversification of products and markets, and the integration of Bhutan into the multilateral system. The Tenth Plan, to start in 2009, will maintain this emphasis.

The agreement on trade and commerce between India and Bhutan provides for duty-free, quota-free trade. Goods in transit (through India) between Bhutan and third countries are not subject to Indian customs duties. India accounts for 95 % of Bhutan’s exports; of this, almost 50% is electricity.

Between Bhutan and Bangladesh (the second largest trading partner), a five-year tariff concession agreement has been in place since May 2003. This replaced the 1980 trade agreement. 

Under SAPTA, SAFTA and BIMSTEC, many Bhutanese exports will enjoy preferential access to regional markets. (See Part One). Bhutan can also access developed countries' preference schemes. The Trade Development Office of the Ministry of Trade and Industry provides information and assistance in accessing markets around the world: www.trade.gov.bt. Tel: +9752325588.

Approvals, Permits, Licences, Restrictions, Quotas

Any individual or firm with a valid trade or industrial licence can undertake exports. No separate export licence is required. Export permits, however, are required for restricted/prohibited items; these include religious artefacts such as statues, books and paintings, and antique items. 

Exports of excisable goods must be approved by the Ministry of Finance, and the exporter must inform the Excise authorities in writing 24 hours before removing the goods from the factory or warehouse.

Exports are valued 'free on board' (FOB) at the exit point. No quotas are imposed.

Restricted and Prohibited Exports

• Animals and plants classified as endangered species and their parts and products
• Antiques such as zee (cats eye) and any other items as specified by the Royal Government
• Prime and sawn timber and semi-finished wood products
• Narcotic and psychotropic drugs and substances
• Any other goods which are restricted or prohibited by any laws in force.

Other Export Requirements, SPS, Technical Standards

Exports of agricultural goods must have a phytosanitary certificate issued by the quality control and regulatory services of the Ministry of Agriculture. 

Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA)
POB: 252
Tel: (975 2) 327031/325790
Fax: (975 2) 327032 
Email: karma_d@moa.gov.bt (Executive Director: Mr Karma Dorji)
Website: www.moa.gov.bt/agency

For processed goods, only limited standards testing and conformity assessment services are available locally at present, but efforts are underway to expand such services. Please contact:

Standards & Quality Control Authority (SQCA)
Ministry of Works & Human Settlement
Thimphu, Bhutan
Website: www.sqcd.gov.bt

Standardization & Documentation Division (SDD)
Tel: (975)-2-326843/326905/328298
Telefax: (975)-2-323712
E-Mail: stdunit@sqcd.gov.bt/ crinzin@sqcd.gov.bt

Technical Monitoring Division (TMD)
Telefax: (975)-2-323712 
E-Mail: temd@sqcd.gov.bt

Material Testing & Research Division (MTRD)
Tel: (975)-2-325104
Telefax: (975)-2-327759
E-Mail: mtrd@sqcd.gov.bt/wangchuk_tashi@sqcd.gov.bt
1 2 3 4 5 6 Last