Customs delay bites Bangladesh businesses

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Companies are facing delay and counting higher costs even while complying with customs documentation in the ports, although the authorities experience made significant improvements recently.

In 50 % cases, it requires up to 72 hours to have the imported goods released, according to data from the customs and port authority.

However, in 38 % cases, importers need to spend 72 to 150 time for documentary compliance.

In 12 % cases, between 150 and 275 hours are necessary for digesting imported goods, said the info placed on the site Bangladesh Investment Production Authority (BIDA).

It also showed the price tag on documentary compliance is US$ 0.589 for per bill of access of imported goods.

The info showed the completion of documentary compliance for exports demands up to a day while that of the border needs up to 22 time.

Nevertheless, exporters expressed reservations about the claim created by the customs and port authorities about enough time and price spent while releasing their goods,

They said it requires as many as thirty days to get imported products released from the ports.

Businesses also alleged some hidden costs were involved whilst getting their things released from the ports. This pushes up the product prices at the buyers' end.

The info on cost and time of import-export was presented at a virtual meeting at the BIDA, chaired by the cabinet secretary Khondaker Anwarul Islam.

The latest meeting happened to highlight the creation of the country's simple doing business indicators.

Officials associated with investment advertising said the BIDA hasn't received positive transmission from the personal sector for the mandatory time and cost of trading across border.

Importers said the Chattogram Tailor made House (CCH) and Chattogram Interface Authority (CPA) should have initiative to reduce enough time and price of the trade through borders and ports to greatly help them stay competitive.

Muhammed Abdus Salam, taking care of director of the A.T.S Apparels Ltd, said the prevailing time and costs necessary for the discharge of goods found in Bangladesh are much higher than those of the other regional rivals, including Vietnam.

In Vietnam, it requires 48 time to enter the imported goods to the factory after releasing from the ships in customs ports, he said.

Mr Salam said there are a few hidden costs mixed up in documentary compliance in the port seeing as VAT and different taxes are imposed on port charges.

According to the a few minutes of the appointment, the BIDA has decided to sensitise the trade sets of exporters, importers and freight forwarders about the accurate facts of trading over the border.

Jibon Krishno Shaha Roy, a director of BIDA, said the state company has fixed the target to slash price and period at the interface as mentioned by the customs and interface authority.

At the last meeting of National Committee for Monitoring Implementation to do Business Reforms (NCMID), the stakeholders are determined to focus on the implementation of the prospective.

Mr Roy said the BIDA would recommend the inner Solutions Division and the Delivery Ministry to disseminate the information relating to the reduction of time and expense and take required measures in this connection.

Amimul Ehsan Khan, primary secretary of NBR, said customs isn't alone in charge of the delay in trading across border as some 60 entities are participating with export-import trade.

"The customs authority possesses automated almost all of its functions, including e-payment but traders cannot reap benefit of this as different entities are but to automate their activities," he said.

He held the info collection process of the World Bank in charge of the indegent ranking of Bangladesh in its Ease of CONDUCTING BUSINESS report as.

"Customs possesses signed an arrangement with 38 relevant entities to implement the National One Window (NSW) job, which allows the traders to get companies under one roofing," he added.

Masrur Reaz, chairman of Insurance policy Exchange of Bangladesh, said a competent and contemporary trade facilitation regime is essential for Bangladesh to diversify its export bottom and enhance competitiveness in global markets.

"Reforms targeted in trading across border under the World Bank's rank can contribute significantly to attaining these goals," he said.

He, however, said it'll be vital that you gauge user/beneficiary experience to examine whether reforms have already been implemented effectively.

There are larger trade environment issues beyond cross-border commerce such as the bonded warehouse regime and trade policy modernisation, which need to be addressed for an improved trade environment, he said.

Relating to a decision of the assembly, the Internal Information Division (IRD) and the Shipping and delivery Ministry will continue to work on giving authorization to get the submission of files and its processing prior to the arrival of ships in the interface.

To expedite import-export, both wings will work towards conducting scrutiny before supplying clearance of the products from the port.

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