Bangladesh has asked India for recognising standard certificates issued by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution for 14 more products for export to the country and withdrawal of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty on readymade garments, jute and hydrogen peroxide.
On the other hand, India has proposed to adopt off-border clearance of cargo for solving problems related to cargo congestion and infrastructure bottlenecks at land port and land customs stations at the border.
The proposals were made at the two-day 11th meeting of the joint group of customs between the customs authorities of the two countries held in Dhaka on August 23-24.
The products for which Dhaka sought recognition of BSTI certificates include frozen food, potato crackers, candy, milk powder, white bread, dry cake, drinking water, flavored drinks, canned juice, soap, cement, mild steel rod (MS rod), GI pipes and textile items.
Officials of the National Board of Revenue said the Indian delegation informed that the relevant authorities would examine the list.
Earlier in April 2017, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had issued a gazette notification recognising BSTI certificates for 21 food products that include fruit juice, jam, jelly, marmalade, pickles, chutney, food drinks, sauce, tomato ketchup, fruit syrup, fruit squash, fruit cordial, edible gel, tomato paste, biscuits, chanachur, noodles, instant noodles, water, soft drink powder and carbonated beverages.
Regarding Bangladesh’s demand for removal of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty on RMG, jute and hydrogen peroxide, India said that the CVD was imposed based on the principle of national treatment and levied on domestic manufacturers also.
It has been subsumed under the goods and services tax introduced from last July.
Regarding anti-dumping duty, India advised the Bangladeshi exporters for seeking review of the duty.
About the proposal of off-border clearance system, India said that customs procedures and clearance of export-import cargos would be conducted at any inland locations near the customs stations.
Cargo laden vehicles would be transported at the locations through use of electronic cargo tracking system to track the movement of vehicles.
The Bangladesh side assured the Indian delegation of examining the proposal.
Both sides also agreed to extend the car pass system at some more land customs stations (LCSs) of high bilateral importance to facilitate movement of goods-laden trucks within 200 yards of importing country for unloading cargo.
The system has already been introduced at some land ports and LCSs including Benapole, Shonamasjid, Banglabanda, Hili, Akhaura and Bibirbazar.
Both the countries agreed to introduce the system at the LCSs like Betuli-Fultali (old Ragna Bazar), Chatla-Manu, Chella-Shellabazar, Kalibari-Ichhamati, Mehendraganj-Dhanua Kamalpur, Rowmari-Mankachar and Muhurighat-Belonia.
The decision will be finalised at the customs commissioner level meeting.
Bangladesh also requested India to ease port restrictions for export of goods like fresh fish, cement, ceramics, MS rod and soap to India.
Bangladeshi traders face problems in export of those goods due to port restrictions under which export of those goods is allowed only through specific LCSs.
India has also requested for easing port restrictions for some of their goods for export to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh also asked for quality testing facility at LCSs for export of goods as export of RMG is severely hampered in absence of quality testing facility at LCSs, except on Petrapole side.
Currently, it takes few days to receive the test reports related to RMG as the samples are sent to Varansi in Uttar Pradesh.
Both sides also agreed to improve infrastructure facility at LCSs and exchange of information and customs documents on a regular basis, and increase cooperation in anti-smuggling and investigation measures.
NBR member Khondaker Aminur Rahman and Central Board of Excise and Customs director general for export promotion of India Pranab Kumar Das led their respective sides at the meeting.
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