The National Board of Revenue has granted full exemption for the investors in the country’s export processing zones from paying customs duties and other taxes on import of eight types of equipments including fire fighting and worker safety equipments.
The revenue board on Sunday issued a statutory regulatory order in this connection.
According to the SRO, investors in the EPZs will enjoy tax-free import of the items — all kinds of generator set, coal, solar power set, all types of fire fighting equipments, evaporative cooling machines, all types of safety equipments for workers, mannequins or tailor’s dummy and drinking water treatment machine.
Currently, investors in the EPZs enjoy duty-free import of other 34 types of equipments including industrial fan, machinery oil, industrial freezer/refrigerator, electric cable, industrial air conditioners, washing machines, lamps and security appliances.
Officials of the revenue board said that the exemption was provided following a decision of the governing body of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is the chairperson of the governing body.
The equipments, particularly fire fighting and worker safety equipments, has become very important for industrial operation and success in export market over the recent years as international buyers are more aware about fire and worker safety.
The revenue board, however, said that an investor would be allowed to import the highest four mannequins, which is needed to measure the size of readymade garment items, in the first year and two in the each subsequent year.
Currently, there are eight EPZs in the country. The first EPZ was established in Chittagong in 1983.
According to the BEPZA, there are 463 industrial units in the EPZs — Chittagong, Dhaka, Comilla, Mongla, Uttara, Ishwardi, Adamjee and Karnaphuli — which cumulated investment stood at $4.18 billion and export earnings reached to around $56 billion at the end of 2016.
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