National, Front Page

Illegal couriers mushrooming

What do they transport?

Published : 29 Mar 2024 10:40 PM | Updated : 02 Apr 2024 04:32 PM

The government is not in the know of the activities of several hundred courier services, operating across the country illegally.

The large number of these unauthorised organisations raises brows and insiders say who knows whether these organisations are transporting documents and goods only, or illegal items.

Record shows that at least 86 organisations have been operating their businesses across the country without licences, thanks to oversight of the authorities concerned.

Insiders say that over 500 organisations, which do not have any affiliation with any authorised body, are operating their business without licences. These organisations mainly deal with dispatching documents, bank statements and parcels.

The website of the Courier Services Association of Bangladesh shows that some 174 organisations are operating across the country.

Of the organisations, the number of licenced organisations stands at 88 and the number of unlicenced organisations 86.

It also shows that 62 organisations renewed licenses while many of them have not renewed their licences for long.

Owners of some unlicenced organisations claim that though they have already closed their operations, the name of their organisations remain in the list. 

The name of the unlicenced organisations are Central Courier Service Pvt Ltd, Pioneer Courier Service, Bangladesh National Courier Service, Sonar Courier Service Ltd, Oishee Courier International, RM Courier Service, Prime International, Mecca Courier and Parcel Service, Union Courier Service (BD), S Alam Express, 

Address Express, S Alam Courier Service, Commitment Courier Service Ltd, DGport International, Ridimoni Courier and Parcel Service, Bengal Courier and Parcel Express, BD Mail Express, Easy Mail Services Ltd, Donex Express, New Ekushey Courier Service, Rinu International Courier Service, Extra Care Courier Service, Olympic Express, BH Express International, MD Classic Care and Parcel Service Ltd, Dreams International Courier Service, Hazrat Shahjalal Express, Rajdhani Express, Agrani Express, Fair Courier and Parcel Service Pvt Ltd, NRB Express, Express Hall Ltd, The Concord Express, Dynamic Logistic Solution, Prime Service Line, Continental Courier Service, Al Zakir Courier and Parcel Service, TRS Air Express Ltd, Haider Courier and Parcel Service, Elite Parcel and Courier Service, Ghuri Express Ltd, Delivmert Ltd, The Sabuj Bangla Courier Service Ltd, Destination Express BD, Khan Luxury Ltd, Metro Express Ltd, Bahak Courier Ltd, Quicker Delivery Service, Expert Courier Ltd, Laboni Express Ltd, B-Courier, Delivery Express Ltd, Munshi Express Parcel Service, Alijahan International Ltd, Rapido Ltd, Hura Sagar Enterprise, Delex Courier Ltd, Pick Earn and Go, SB Trade International, Bahan Bangla Ltd, Express In Town Ltd, Flingex, Winners Courier Ltd, Easy fast Courier Service Ltd, Faring Courier Ltd, Jogajog Thikana Technology Courier Service PVT Ltd, Labbaik Courier and Express Ltd, Bablu Parcel Ltd, PSP Courier Service Ltd, Parcel Star, Homeland Courier Service, AYZ Express Services, Rose Courier and Parcel Service Ltd, Pickme Express Ltd, Sandarban Logistic Limited, Tara Courier and Parcel Service, Elahi Overseas Ltd, Destination Express International Ltd, Obhai Solution Ltd, SKR International Ltd, Fox Parcel and New Ekota Transport and Courier Service.

Courier Services Association of Bangladesh president Hafizur Rahman Palak told Bangladesh Post that the government can at least collect pieces of information about our member organisations.

“Many organisations have already taken licenses for operating businesses while some have applied for renewing the licenses. But, why doesn’t the government take action against those organisations which do not have any affiliation with any authorised body,” he asked.

On the unlicenced organisations, he said that they are asking those owners to take licenses.

“In reply, those owners are claiming that they do not have the business,” he said.

He was also critical over a provision of law which compels the courier service owners to pay compensation for losing any documents or parcel.

“It is a black provision of the law,” he said, urging the government to review the provision.

Highlighting some obstacles over the licencing procedures in different categories, owners say that they have to deposit Tk 3 (Three) lakh as bank guarantee for running operations in city corporations and divisional cities.

They have to spend Tk 50,000 along with 15 per cent VAT for taking the license to operate business in city corporations and divisional cities. Another Tk 30,000 is needed for the renewal of the licence.

Insiders allege that the unauthorised organisations do not have to spend a single penny for operating their businesses.

They also claim that the Mailing Operator and Courier Service Licencing Authority, which issues licences in three categories ---international, domestic and onboard Portland-- does not oversee the businesses of the unauthorised entities.

Rather those who are running businesses with licences, are being harassed, they say.

Santosh Kumar Kundu of Prime International told Bangladesh Post that he had been running the onboard courier service Portland after taking licenses from Post and Telecommunications Division and the National Board of Revenue to go by the statutory regulatory orders.

“My organisation no longer remains with the association as I have closed this business a long ago,” he said.

Kazi Akbar Hossain of Bangladesh National Courier Service told Bangladesh Post that they did not take the licence due to high fees and various complexities of taking licence.

“The scope of business in this sector marks a downtrend. Besides, there are numerous obstacles in taking the licence,” he said.  

Dr M Mahiuddin, Chairman of the Mailing Operator and Courier Service Licensing Authority, told Bangladesh Post that they have been working to collect pieces of information over the number of unlicenced courier services mushrooming across the country.

“We have been collecting the data of the courier services across the country through the Post and Telecommunications Division,” he said.

When asked about the complexities of licencing procedures, he said, “Those who have applied for the licenses, have been given licenses immediately.”

Asked about the high fees, he ruled out the claim.

“Even those who do business as agents, just pay Tk 1,000 for operating their business,” he said.