The National Board of Revenue has decided to allow duty-free import of goods worth up to Tk 2,000 and exempt duty or other taxes up to the same amount to facilitate speedy clearance of tiny things like samples, gifts and personal shipments.
Officials said that there was a provision in the customs law for many years in this connection but NBR did not issue a gazette notification to implement the provision.
According to the provision of Customs Act-1969, no customs duty or other tax will be levied if the value of the goods in any one consignment does not exceed Tk 2,000 or the total amount of duty does not exceed Tk 2,000.
Now, NBR has decided to issue the notification to make the system, globally known as de minimis value regime, effective, officials said.
NBR made the decision following a proposal of a European Union Delegation in Bangladesh.
Investors and ambassadors of different EU countries have been seeking implementation of the provision for last few years.
The issue has also been raised at the latest EU-Bangladesh Business Climate Dialogue, a platform of European Union Business Council and Bangladesh commerce ministry, held in Dhaka on October 4.
EU is also demanding a raise in the threshold. The regional bloc is also demanding that the threshold to be considered as the intrinsic value of the goods.
Otherwise, the implementation would bring very little benefit as the courier charge alone would cover the Tk 2,000, EU said.
A senior NBR official on Thursday told New Age that the limit of value of goods and amount of duty had been raised to Tk 2,000 in the budget for the current fiscal year of 2018-19 from the previous Tk 1,000 as per an EU request.
He said that the gazette notification on implementation of the provision would be issued by the first quarter of 2019.
A team of NBR is now working on the possible clearance process of the goods under the provision, he added.
The process of clearance should be simplified, officials said.
Importers would not get benefits from the provision if they have to go through the regular process like submission of bill of entry and following other procedures to release their goods that requires a number of days, they said.
Importers may be able to clear their goods mainly commercial samples, gifts and other personal shipments easily and within the shortest possible time once the provision comes into effect, they added.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Tax