Taskforce recommends continuation of PSI
The taskforce that was constituted to figure out the future of the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) system suggested continuation of it till building the capacity of customs department.
Director General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Abdul Mannan Sikdar is the convener of six-member task force.
Representatives from business community in the taskforce included Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry First Vice President Abul Kashem Ahmed and Adviser Monjur Ahmed.
“A serious consequences might be evident, which may affect both revenue administration and import-export activities negatively if the PSI scheme is scrapped without building the capacity of the Customs Department,” said the report, submitted to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Thursday.
The taskforce comprising of public-private representatives recommended to the government with short, medium and long term strategies for upgrading the customs capacity and its valuation database and continue the PSI scheme until the recommendations are implemented.
The mandatory PSI system has been in place in the country from February 2000 at the insistence of business community and the current contacts of four appointed PSI companies will expire on December 31, 2009.
The successive governments after 2000 so far cancelled contracts with two PSI agents, Inspectorate Grifith and Cotecna, for irregularities.
The major responsibilities of the PSI companies included issuing valuation certificates of imported items, ensuring their quality, doing inspection before shipment and classification of goods so that duties at import level are imposed by the customs officials accordingly.
ITS (UK), SGS (Switzerland), Bureau Veritas (France) and OMIC (Japan) have been assigned for PSI activities in five blocks.
“PSI services are supposed to be used only for as long as it necessary to develop gradually the capacity of the customs authorities to administer to WTO agreement on customs valuation,” the report said, quoting the position of business community on PSI.