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Leading Law Firm in Dhaka

Custom Laws and it Real Time Implication in Bangladesh

Customs clearance is required for export under Section 131 of the Customs Act of 1969. Section 131 states that goods should not be loaded/stuffed into containers or shipped for export until an export declaration (also known as a Bill of Export/Shipping Bill) is sent to Customs in the required format and authorized by the Customs authority. The declaration specifies the description of the commodities, their worth, the names of the exporters, the names of foreign buyers/importers, and the names of the transport operators.

Customs Laws

The following papers must be enclosed (for all export consignments) with the Bill of Export for customs clearance, according to the NBR's Prescribed Bill of Entry and Bill of Export Form Order, 2001:

o If there is no export L/C, the negotiating bank must accept an export contract, purchase order, or export guarantee.

o A commercial invoice signed by the exporter and containing a thorough description of the products.

o Quantity, weight, and packaging detail are included in the packing list.

o Authorized Dealers (ADs) certify the EXP type to guarantee the realization of export proceeds.

o Import products must have a Certificate of Origin (issued by EPB or Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

o Certificate of VAT registration.

o Under the NBR, the Income Tax Department issues a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

For certain product types, additional certifications/documents are needed for export.

Among them are the following:

1. ERC for jute and jute products, as well as tea.

2. Bangladesh Tea Board granted a shipment-by-consignment export permit for tea export.

3. Export of urea fertilizer manufactured in all factories except KAFCO needs approval from the Ministry of Industries.

4. A ‘no objection stamp' from the Ministry of Information in the case of audio cassettes, video cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and other formats of television programs, songs, drama, animations, documentary films, and other formats.

5. Utilization Declaration for bonded warehouse export of RMG or Utilization Permission for bonded warehouse export of other products

6. Phytosanitary certificate for agricultural products (such as tomatoes, corns, and so on) in accordance with the exporting country's requirements (issued by the Plant Protection Wing of the Department of Agriculture Extension).

7. A quality management certificate is required when exporting goods that demand one (e.g. quality control certificate by the Department of Fisheries is necessary as per the requirements of the country of destination for frozen fish).

8. NOC from the CCI&E and the Bangladesh Bank to encourage exports on a returnable or export-cum-import basis.

9. A bank guarantee equal to the number of products to be exported on a returnable or export-cum-import basis.

Exportable goods are loaded into containers and stuffed into the ship/aircraft/truck after the export declaration is authorized by the Customs authority after documentary and physical inspection of export consignments. When the ship/truck/airline exits the port, the customs officer in charge (PO-on-Board/gate division officer in charge) signs the back of the second copy of the shipping bill (as ‘shipped on board'). It should be remembered that when commodities are loaded into containers at private ICDs/exporters' premises, the goods may be checked by a gate division officer before being transported to the port area.

Shipping agents electronically send manifest details (descriptions of imported goods by ship) to the Customs authority for imported goods into Bangladesh. The trucking company/driver submits IGM to the customs authority while importing by truck (via land customs stations). The nominated C&F Agent (or the importer himself) completes the goods declaration (commonly known as Bill of Entry or B/E) from their own premises and submits the goods declaration to Customs systems by ASYCUDA World after the Import General Manifest (IGM) is submitted electronically (in the case of import by vehicle, manually). The declaration, also known as a B/E, must be written in a standardized format called a Single Administrative Document (SAD).

The documentary submission conditions are outlined in the NBR's Prescribed Bill of Entry and Bill of Export Form Order, 2001. For both forms of imports, the following certificates must be sent with the declaration in order for products to be released from Customs:

o L/C 

o a bill

o Bill of Lading/AWB/Truck Receipt/Railway Receipt/Bill of Lading/AWB/Truck Receipt/Railway Receipt

o List of Things to Bring

o Certificate of “Country of Origin” (except coal and export-oriented garments industries)

o Cover note/insurance scheme

o Certificate to VAT/BIN

For various types of products, additional documents are needed, such as:

o According to Import Policy Order, 2015-2018, para 26, the BDS standard will be required for clearance of 55 products, and if no certificate from an approved laboratory from the exporting country is valid, a certificate from the BSTI will be required (28). 

o For food products, a radioactivity test report from the exporting country's relevant authority is needed (Import Policy Order, 2015-2018 Para 16).

o Food products must have clearance certificates from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission stating that the radioactivity level present in the imported food is below reasonable limits (Import Policy Order, 2015-2018, para 16(9)).

o Pre-delivery Inspection test report for milk food goods and powder milk, coal and hard coke Break Acrylic (HS 39.15 and 3915.90), M.S. Billets (7207), and things with a value of Taka fifty lac or more allowed for import by government agencies.

o Approval letter from the Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources' Chief Inspector of Explosives for the manufacture of explosives (Import Policy Order, 2015-2018, para 26(1)).

o In the case of import of branded products registered under any IP law in Bangladesh [Para 5(6)(c) of Import Policy Order,2015-1], a copy of the intellectual property certificate (issued by the IPR holder of the exporting country) is required [Para 5(6)(c) of Import Policy Order,2015-18].

o Customs assesses duties and taxes, and the importer (or his C&F agent) pays the duties and taxes. Customs issues a release order for clearance following payment of levied duty and taxes, and goods are cleared after port formalities are completed. If the consignee authorizes duty and tax to be paid to the shipper on the Air Waybill, samples worth up to $100 and weighing up to 5 kg are cleared same-day (through the manual system) in Dhaka Air freight. Samples worth more than $100 and weighing more than 5 kg must be cleared by the ASYCUDA WORLD scheme. 

o Quarantine requirements (such as registration from the quarantine agency, fumigation, and so on) must be followed for the customs clearance of imported livestock, trees, and plant goods. Imports of raw cotton grown and packaged in the Western Hemisphere must be fumigated, according to the Import Policy Order, 2015-2018, paragraph 26(60). 

o If an import consignment is not cleared within 21 days (of the date of unloading at a Customs airport) or 30 days (of the date of unloading at a customs-port or a land customs station or customs-inland container depot), or within the extended period as the required officer might allow, the consignment may be disposed of by auction [Section 82 of the Customs Act 1969].

When it is not possible to determine the customs duty that may be payable on certain imported products immediately because the goods need a chemical or other examination or a further investigation for assessment purposes, or because all of the documentation or complete documents or full information pertaining to such goods has not been furnished, the Customs authority may assess the consignment provisionally. In such situations, the importer (except for commodities entered for warehousing) must have an unconditional bank guarantee/security deposit from a scheduled bank for the payment of any excess duty that might be due after the final determination (as determined by Customs).In this scenario, the final assessment must be completed within 120 working days of the provisional assessment's completion date.