The National Board of Revenue has launched a new customs website yesterday providing various trade-related information, including the rate of import duty and taxes for goods, with a view to facilitating cross-border trade.
Businesses will also find all the laws, rules and gazette notifications related to customs and know about the export and import procedures, including customs clearance, from the website without taking the hassle of visiting customs offices.
The webpage, www.bangladeshcustoms.gov.bd, also contains various forms such as those for licensing, duty drawback to take part in international trade related activities.
“The website offers a one-stop service for customs and trade information,” said Md Khairuzzaman Mozumder, chief of party of USAID Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity project, at the launch of the website.
The NBR and the USAID Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity, jointly organised the event at the capital's Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel.
The website also contains the government's import and export policy orders, baggage rules, and international regulations, including anti-money laundering regulations, said a NBR statement.
One can get accurate information on the total tax incidence for a product from the website, Mozumder said.
By using the duty calculator on the website, one will get accurate information on how much duties and taxes he/she will have to pay for importing consignments.
Information on various trade incentives such as incentive for export, bonded warehouse benefits as well as on fees and charges are also available and easily downloadable from the website, Mozumder said in his presentation at the programme.
The NBR said businesses will also get information on the preferential tariff rates applicable for Bangladesh under regional trade pacts from the webpage.
One will also get information on transit and transshipment from the website.
“We are trying to convert the NBR into a digital NBR,” said NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman at the launch ceremony.
“This website is dynamic. This will connect all our stakeholders.”
Rahman, also a senior secretary at the Internal Resources Division, said the revenue authority is working to digitise its VAT and tax departments.
Of the three areas, customs has made good progress, he added.
MA Mannan, state minister for finance and planning, said the capacity of the revenue authority will expand following the launch of the website.
Bangladesh has acceded to the World Customs Organisation's Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC). The country has ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), said Khandaker Mohammad Aminur Rahman, NBR member of customs modernisation.
This new customs website is very comprehensive and it helps Bangladesh comply with the RKC and information provisions of the WTO TFA, he said.
USAID Bangladesh Mission Director Janina Jaruzelski said the website will serve as a single repository of customs information.