Three drugmakers have yet to fully utilize the AEO facility
Photo: Mohammad Minhaj Uddin/TBS
Photo: Mohammad Minhaj Uddin/TBS
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) Customs Department will expand the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) facility to enable trusted importers to bring imported goods directly to their warehouses or factories without wasting time to carry out tests in the ports.
To this end, the Customs Department asked interested companies to apply in April. According to department sources, around 30 companies have already requested it. Institutions that meet certain criteria among the applicants by the end of this month will be placed under this facility.
Products imported from companies covered by this facility may be transported directly to their warehouses or factories without any customs clearance at the port on the basis of their declaration. If necessary, officials from the customs department will visit the importer’s factory and inspect the goods.
This does not require the extra time the importer has to stay in port to test the goods. This will reduce costs for importers, which will play a positive role in facilitating trade and commerce in the country.
NBR introduced this method in 2019 by providing the facility to three pharmaceutical companies – Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd – on a trial basis.
However, it was found that even after four years, institutions could not derive much benefit from the measure. The reason for this was the lack of preparation on the part of the institutions as well as the customs service.
In such a situation, the question has arisen whether the AEO can be properly implemented after integrating new institutions into this facility.
Asked about past experience in relation to the ease given to the three companies, a customs department official told The Business Standard on condition of anonymity that the companies could not start the process in full swing.
“However, the chairman of the NBR recently asked us to fix the existing problems and expand the facility,” he added.
Commissioner of Customs Valuation and Internal Audit, Mohammad Enamul Hoque, who is overseeing the installation, told TBS: “Companies need to have their own VAT (Value Added Tax) software to put This is implemented. But the three companies didn’t have their own software. Software.”
“Again, we didn’t have the preparation we needed, especially dedicated teams at customs offices. Now we have overcome these issues,” he added.
Mohammad Enamul Hoque now hopes that by resolving these issues, this work can start in full swing in the next financial year.
“About 30 new applications have already been received. At the end of this month, we will announce the names of the candidates who meet the conditions,” he added.
NBR offers this facility to trusted traders. It is set according to certain criteria. These include having a satisfactory compliance record under customs, VAT and income tax law, the applicant being clear of guilt for the previous three years, no arrears of income and the amount of the fine, in any case, less than 1% of the total value.
In addition, the authorized capital of an applicant organization must be Tk 15 crore and the paid-up capital must be Tk 5 crore, and the amount of imports must be at least Tk 5 crore per year.
According to NBR sources, this will allow companies to ship their imported goods directly from a port to their factories or warehouses. The price will be according to their announcements.
“If we have any sightings, officials can come to these premises and physically inspect the products. Apart from that, they will also get some benefits,” one of the sources said.
If Bangladesh has a Mutual Recognition Agreement with any other country in the world, the beneficiary will get the same benefit in other countries.
Shams Mahmud, former president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, sees the initiative in a positive light.
“If other companies get this facility, it will help make business easier,” he told TBS.