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Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) of the sub-regional Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) grouping

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 10, Mar 2022
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A meeting was recently held between three countries – Bangladesh, India and Nepal, to discuss the next steps in operationalising the Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) of the sub-regional Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN)grouping for the free flow of good and people between them.

  • Bhutan has already announced that it is unwilling to sign this agreement.

Outcomes of the recent meet:

The BBIN meeting was the first such in-person meeting since February 2020 to discuss the MVA since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and officials finalised the wording of two separate protocols on passenger and cargo movement with an “enabling” agreement.

About MVA:

The original BBIN MVA was signed by all four countries in June 2015, but after objections in Bhutan over sustainability and environmental concerns, the Bhutanese parliament decided not to endorse the plan.

  • 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.
  • Asian Development Bank has supported the project as part of its South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation programme.

Why Bhutan has remained out?

Tiven Bhutan’s “current infrastructure” and top priority to remaining a “carbon-negative” country, it said it would not be possible to consider joining the MVA.


Operationalising the MVA by concluding the Passenger and the Cargo Protocol will help realise the full potential of trade and people to people connectivity between the BBIN countries by fostering greater sub-regional cooperation.