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Customs e-auction starts next month

Doulot Akter Mala | August 30, 2018 00:00:00

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) launches three major customs automation tools in early next month to facilitate traders while checking irregularities.

Customs wing of the board would launch e-auction for all customs houses across the country, start formal operation of national enquiry point and customs intelligence hotline for sharing information, officials said.

The revenue board has developed the software for operating those tools with support from the US Agency for International Development.

The development partner has provided financial and technical support to the NBR under Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity.

The tenure of the project expires in September.

Md Reaydul Islam, second secretary of customs modernisation and project management wing of the NBR, said the e-auction would help curb corruption related to the submission of tender and selection of bidders.

"All of the customs houses across the country will gradually come under the automated tender submission and scrutiny process," he said.

Bidding and scrutinising tender documents will be done through the automated process for ensuring transparency, he added.

Customs has a detailed auction procedure to dispose imported goods, remain unclaimed or are not cleared within the time limit allowed under the Customs Act, 1969.

Goods whose import is prohibited may also be sold through auction with prior permission from the Ministry of Commerce.

With the enquiry point, anyone including traders, passengers, exporters, importers, or manufacturers can make queries on different customs-related information, officials said.

Applicable taxes and duties of import and export goods, baggage rules, customs regulations for businesses can be asked in the enquiry point from anywhere.

Mandatory forms and documents for importation, exportation and transit will also be provided by such a point.

Through the hotline, anyone can give information to the customs intelligence team about money laundering, over-invoicing, under-invoicing, illegal import of products, smuggling or unauthorised cross border trade.

The customs officials said name of the source who would provide information through the hotline, would be kept confidential.

They said some other automation projects of customs including advance passenger information is under pipeline of the NBR.

The provision of advance passenger information in the customs port has been incorporated in the Finance Bill-2018.

Earlier, the NBR had launched National Single Window by signing agreement with 38 government and private entities in order to provide one stop service to the traders, exporters and importers.

Officials said as a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member, Bangladesh is implementing the automation projects with support from different development partners.


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