National Board of Revenue has framed rules providing a set of benefits including completion of physical examination of import-export goods on the business premises, instead of customs houses, of trusted traders.
NBR on Thursday issued the Authorised Economic Operator (Authorisation) Rules-2018 specifying criteria for gaining AEO status by compliant traders, benefits for the selected AEO and other issues related to the scheme.
NBR officials said that compliant businesses including importers, exporters and other stakeholders would be able to apply for the status to avail the benefits.
According to the rules, the benefits for the AEOs include speedy and direct release or shipment of goods, completion of customs valuation procedures including submission of bill of entry and bill of export before arrival of ships at port, completion of valuation procedures with submission of important documents, prompt service from special team of customs and easy and special entrance facility at any customs stations.
Businesses running activities continuously for five years in Bangladesh with satisfactory compliance record on customs, VAT and income tax laws will be eligible for the status.
Applicants must have no record of proved offences or infringements of tax laws for last three years and all undisputed outstanding revenues must be paid before the application, the rules say.
The amount of penalty in any cases related to customs, income tax and VAT (except those under trial at courts) should not be above one per cent of total value of goods and services of last three years.
Businesses having at least Tk 15 crore as authorised capital and at least Tk 5 crore as paid-up capital or above Tk 5 crore as annual turnover for last three consecutive years will be eligible for the status.
In case of importer and exporter, the average value of import and export should be Tk 5 crore for immediate past three years for getting the status of trusted traders.
A high NBR official said that businesses could apply any time for AEO status.
Applicant would have to provide, along with application, a self-assessment questionnaire containing information related to management, business, production, supply chain, compliance record, accounting and logistical system, financial solvency, safety and security requirements, storage of goods and some other issues, he said.
A committee, headed by a customs commissioner, would scrutinise the application and decide the AEO status to the applicant, he said.
The committee will also conduct audit of activities of AEOs every three years or any time based on necessity.
The commissioner will terminate the AEO certificate of any operator for various reasons including false declaration in import-export, tax and duty evasion and deviation from the criteria.
Officials said that NBR already selected two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies to run pilot AEO programme before formal launch of the scheme.
NBR now might run pilot programme or directly introduce the system, they said.
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