The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to settle some 30,000 export shipments using Asycuda system following difficulties of the exporters concerned to avail cash incentives from the central bank against those.
The shipments, known as 'short shipments', were not inserted in the Asycuda system of customs earlier due to lack of option.
The exporters have long been urging the NBR to resolve the issue, as they have been facing difficulties to obtain different services from the Bangladesh Bank (BB), including cash incentives, against those exports.
The Asycuda and the BB have interconnectivity to cross-check data of import-export activities to check money laundering and other irregularities.
Recently, the NBR asked the Chattogram Customs House (CCH) to resolve the issue of short shipments within the shortest possible time.
In a recent meeting, chaired by Dr Abu Noor Rashed Ahmed, additional commissioner of the CCH, it has been decided to upload all data relating to short shipments in the Asycuda World upon submission of some documents.
According to the customs rules, short shipments mean less than that of the EXP system-declared export products for shipments.
Anjan Shekhar Das, former director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and director of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said the short shipments started accumulating when the automated EXP system was launched by BB.
Earlier, commercial banks used to issue EXP that had been automated later, so that the exporters can submit it from anywhere.
The interconnectivity between the Asycuda World and the BB had lack of options to enter data on short shipment, he also said.
In case of less than declared exportable goods, the system was unable to reload or amend that data declared in the automated EXP system.
"Due to absence of short shipment data in the Asycuda system, we often face problems to claim cash incentive against our export."
When the BB cross-checked realisation of export proceeds, it found the gap between declared and actual exports, he noted.
The exporters are hopeful now that the customs has started inserting the short shipment data or documents of exporters in the Asycuda.
The process of uploading short shipment data should be expedited by deploying adequate manpower, he also added.
The CCH additional commissioner said the meeting took the decision to resolve the short shipment issue as per instruction of the NBR.
The CCH decided to upload the short shipment documents on the basis of submission of customs certified invoice, short shipment certificate, bill of entry of lien bank or house B/L, bill of export, and proceed realisation certificate or certification of lien bank on support of PRC.
Exporters have to submit required documents in the off-docs or private ICDs, as they export through those depots, he also said.
There was no option in the system to insert short shipment documents, collected from off-docs.
The NBR asked the CCH to inset those short shipments in the Asycuda system on the basis of furnished documents, he added.
Mr Das, on January 3, requested the NBR to resolve the long-pending short shipment issue.
The BB asked the exporters to submit documents of short shipments through online to claim cash incentives, said Mr Das.
The central bank needs to verify what amount of foreign currency the exporters should receive against their export.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) shows total export on the basis of EXP declaration, where short shipments of export remain absent.
The BB system shows that the exporters have due export proceed following mismatch between foreign currency earning and EXP-declared export volume, he added.
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