Move for fast release of perishable goods

21 April 2021

Al Amin :
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to formulate new rules for quick release and settlement of the perishable goods.
The Board has identified 64 items as perishable goods and the goods will get special facility in releasing from the ports by assessing within 48 hours, the NBR officials said.
They said as a signatory country of WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement, Bangladesh has an obligation of quick release and settlement of the perishable goods and easing international trade.
Moreover, the new rules will preserve the quality and usable tenure of the perishable goods, they added.  
Besides, it takes time to get approval of the concern institutions to release the goods from the ports. In some cases, even after the permission, the goods keep hoard in the port day after day due to various legal complications.
As a result, the traders are facing huge loses as well as the government is depriving of revenue. Under this circumstance, the NBR is formulating the new rules and a draft has already been finalised in this regard.According to the rules, the customs houses will form a maximum 5-member committee separately and the members of the committee will complete all the procedures of unloading the goods.  
The committee will be able to release the goods out of office hours by taking permission of the respective commissioner, if it needs, the draft said.
It also said that the assessment procedure has to be completed within 48 hours, if there are no other legal complications, like false declaration and banned goods.
Besides, the traders will be able to submit the bill of entry at any time, it said.
If there are any queries regarding quality and quantity of the goods, it must be recorded and has to be sent to the concern Authority within 12 hours, the drafts said.
The importers said the initiative will save time and money. But, the implementation of the rules will not be functional successfully unless a complete e-Payment system is introduced.
Fruit importer Sirajul Islam told The New Nation, "It's a good initiative. It will save both time and money. But the NBR will have to measures for unloading frozen containers by only scanning to facilitate the businesses."
"It will also help to reduce container congestion in the ports," he added.
Currently, there is no option to keep the goods in the warehouses of the customs houses. If the importers fail to release the goods within 21 days, the customs Authority calls for instant auction.
Terming the initiative a positive sign, Rizwan Rahman, President of the DCCI, said the NBR should take more steps to facilitate the country's businesses.

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