E-payment of import taxes over Tk 2 lakh a must from July

Business will require to pay import tariff and taxes over Tk 200,000 electronically from the first day of July this year as the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is gradually automating customs systems in order to provide faster service and bring about transparency, said NBR chief yesterday.

"We have prepared a roadmap for e-payment," NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said during a webinar organised by the NBR yesterday to mark International Customs Day.

The NBR made payments of import tariffs and taxes totalling more than Tk 2 lakh compulsory from April 1 this year for businesses who bring goods through Customs House, ICD Dhaka.

The customs house then brought several firms under the e-payment scheme as a part of its preparation to launch a pilot of the electronic payment system for import duties and taxes from April, Mobara Khanam, commissioner of the Customs House, ICD Dhaka, told The Daily Star.

And so, e-payments for import duties and taxes of over Tk 2 lakh will be made compulsory for the rest of the customs houses from July this year.

Currently, businesses can pay import tariffs via bank drafts, pay orders and cash.

Muneem said the NBR took several initiatives to ensure transparency and electronic payments are a part of that.

The revenue administration also took the initiative to buy 13 scanners to install at the ports to examine imported and exported consignments.

"This will speed up deliveries," he added.

At the event, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal directed the NBR to quickly procure the scanners and install them at all ports.

He also suggested that the revenue collector form an estimate on the duties and taxes it exempts to reduce the cost of goods imported for implementation in the country's mega projects and various public agencies.

"It would give us an idea about the amount of duty we are waiving," Kamal said.

The duty that has been exempted would have been added to the total revenue collected and Bangladesh's revenue-GDP ratio would have been higher in that case.

Bangladesh's tax-GDP ratio is less than 10 per cent.

Calculating the exempted amount will give an idea about the collection of revenue. The country's overall revenue-GDP ratio will be higher once the exempted tax is taken into consideration, he added.


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