Businesses fail to take PAP facility in customs clearance

07 October 2022

Al Amin :
Businesses are failing to take advantage of pre-arrival processing (PAP) facility in taking customs clearance due to unconsciousness and unwillingness, officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) said.
Importers can cut overall release time by 57 per cent exploiting the opportunity, they added.
As the global trade relies heavily on efficient movement of goods and services across borders, the NBR introduce the PAP facility in 2019 in order to expedite release of imported goods from the ports.
Mamun Mridha, Secretary of the Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCCI), told The New Nation, "The NBR introduced the pre-arrival processing facility in face of demand of different apex trade bodies. But it is yet to be implemented properly."
The importer cannot take the facility as several disputes create after physical examination of goods at ports, he added.
The average time required to complete the import clearance process (from the arrival of ship to final release of the goods) is 11 days and maximum time 49 days in Bangladesh.
The average release time (ART) for YELLOW lane consignments is 11, whereas the corresponding time for the RED lane consignments is 20 days, according to a study conducted by the NBR.
The PAP is the process of electronic submission of import documentation and other required information to Customs and relevant government agencies, including manifests, in order to begin document processing prior to the arrival of goods with a view to expediting release upon arrival.
This will help reduce delays and congestion at the points of entry, consequently, reducing clearance time spent after goods arrive.    
But only one per cent importers, mostly defensive and livestock's goods, take the PAP facility in Bangladesh, although, around 70 per cent imported goods come to the country through the yellow lane.
All the goods come through yellow lane can avail the opportunity in releasing goods in order to save time and cost, the NBR officials said.
On the other hand, 100 per cent importers take the facility in developed countries, around 80 per cent in South Korea and 25 per cent in India.
The average release time for consignments availing pre-arrival processing (PAP) facility is about 57 per cent lower (ART 6 days 5 hours 8 minutes) than that of consignments undergoing post-arrival processing (ART 14 days 9 hours 53 minutes), the study said.
PAP targets all consignments imported by sea and air. The importer or the clearing agent should lodge the declaration and make payments at least 48 hours before expected arrival of vessel.
Upon arrival of vessel and discharge, consignments are subjected to minimal interventions and the release process is expedited.
It brings a higher level of predictability and transparency to Customs procedures hence improving the business environment by supporting just-in-time delivery, reduction of storage, insurance and transaction costs, the study said.
Mohammad Hatem, Executive President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told The New Nation over phone on Thursday, "We are completely unaware about the facility. But it is a goods initiative."
"NBR should share with the trade bodies such initiatives soon after the decision takes," he added.  

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