NBR plans high customs tariff

Better services to traders aimed

Aiming at providing better services to traders and investors, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to enhance the current fees and charges for various services related to customs procedures. Under a four-year customs modernisation strategic action plan, the board will also carry outa study to assess the impacts of revision of tariff structure on trade, investment, export and economic growth.

The NBR’s customs wing has incorporated the plan in its recently adopted strategy to implementduring 2019-2022, said NBR sources adding, 11 fields would be modernized to ensure better services to traders and investors. Talking to Bangladesh Post on justifying the move to raise the fees and charges, a customs official seeking anonymity said, the existing rates of fees and charges are lower than the costs for servicesprovided in handling export and import.

Expenditure for manpower, technology and other logistics has shot up significantly over the recent years, he said. He however, said, prior to setting revised rates, the NBR would evaluate whether the new tariff structure would putany negative impact on trading of any sector. Currently, the NBR collects fees and charges for various types of services, including document processing, issuance of different certificate and duplicate customs documents.

Besides, fees and charges are also collected from laboratory test, container scanning, advance ruling and trans-shipment services. For example, the existing trans-shipment fees under Inland Waterways Protocol between India and Bangladesh are Tk 180 for a tonne of goods. The fees include document processing fee of Tk 10, trans-shipment fee Tk 20, security charge Tk 100 and escort charge Tk 50.

However, the fee for issuance of certificates and customs document duplicates is maximum Tk 20.Under the comprehensive action plan, the NBR will develop an organisational structure for conducting activities like non-intrusion inspection, risk management, national single window and authorised economic operator.The board will also develop specialised skills for customs officials in the areas of classification, valuation, post clearance audit, intellectual and property rights.

Besides, they will be especially trained for risk management, transfer pricing and money laundering issues.As per the plan, customs related laws, rules and regulations will also be reviewed to identify gaps in the regulatory framework as well as strengthen it.Sources said the exchequer has also taken a plan to ensure adequate facilities at customs laboratory to conduct each type of chemical, mechanical and other standards analysis.

It, in line with the move, will establish laboratory at all customs houses and 16 land customs stations and with this, each of the active LC stationswill be equipped with basic facilities to conduct chemical analysis to detect any type of fraudulences.Some other customs procedures including e-filling, e-payment, e-auction, automated audit and online notification systems will be established during the period to have a modern customs system, officials said.The NBR will also strengthen bilateral customs cooperation arrangements with strategically potential countries and trade organizations, they said.