Exporters will now be able to issue the certificate of origin to enjoy the generalised system of preferences (GSP) facility in the European Union, instead of relying on the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) for the document.
Md Mofizul Islam, senior secretary of the commerce ministry, Md Shafiqul Islam, vice-chairman of the EPB, Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Md Siddiqur Rahman, vice-president of the federation, were also present at the event.
This will save time and cut cost for exporters, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, according to a statement.
This will allow exporters to enjoy the GSP benefit quickly after sending a shipment.
A certificate of origin is an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. It also serves as a declaration by the exporter.
The minister said exporters would be able to issue the certificate because of the introduction of the registered exporter system (the Rex system).
The commerce minister made the comment while speaking at a programme at the conference room of the EPB in Dhaka on Sunday.
He handed over the Rex number to 10 exporters at the programme.
The exporters are Zaber & Zubair Fabrics, Rifat Garments Ltd, Square Fashions Ltd, Noman Terry Towel Mills, Sea Park (BD) Ltd of Chattogram, Akij Jute Mills, Pran Agro Ltd, Karupannya Rangpur Ltd, Uniglory Cycle Industries, and Universal Jeans Ltd.
About 6,000 exporters will receive the Rex number gradually, the statement said.
“With this, Bangladesh’s export simplification takes another step forward,” Munshi said.
Bangladesh has been enjoying the GSP facility since 1971 under the EU’s “Everything but Arms” scheme.
The transition period from the current system of origin certification to the Rex system started for Bangladesh on January 1 this year and will last until December 31 this year, according to the European Commission website.
Exporters will have to apply to become registered exporters by filling in an application form and by returning it to the EPB.
According to the commerce ministry statement, the new system was introduced in line with the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
Local exporters have long been demanding the introduction of the Rex system.
Under the new system, exporters will bear all the responsibilities for the exports, while the EPB will supervise it.
The Rex system will progressively and completely replace the current system of origin certification based on certificates of origin issued by government authorities and on invoice declarations made out under certain conditions by economic operators.