A total of 38 government and private sector agencies on Tuesday signed agreements with the National Board of Revenue to be connected to the National Single Window system meant for providing all services related to export and import from an electronic and online platform.
The memoranda of understanding, signed at a programme at the Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka, outlined the general principles of collaboration, roles of different parties, preliminary commitment to business process and policy reform to make the NSW system effective and sustainable for trade.
A single window is defined as a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.
Traders will have to submit the relevant documents only once to the platform for export and import purpose instead of submitting sets of documents to various agencies.
The agencies include Prime Minister’s Office, ministries of finance, commerce, industries, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, health and family welfare, shipping, power, energy and mineral resources, civil aviation and tourism, posts, telecommunications and information technology, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association and Bangladesh Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association.
The NBR is implementing the NSW project with support of the World Bank Group.
IFC-implemented and DFID-funded Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund is providing technical assistance to design and develop technical and functional specifications of the online platform.
According to the NBR, a total of 3.19 lakh importers and exporters are expected to be benefited from reduced time and cost for trade once the system becomes operational.
The average processing time for import and export is expected to be reduced to 122 hours and to 88 hours respectively after completion of the operation of the solution.
Estimates suggested that the modern customs and border clearance procedure could reduce cost of trading by 14-17.5 per cent in lower middle-income countries like Bangladesh.
This has a direct impact on the growth of export as one additional day for clearance could reduce export by 1 per cent.
At the MoU signing ceremony, finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, FBCCI president Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and IFC senior economist M Masrur Reaz, and NBR member and also NSW project director Khondaker Muhammad Aminur Rahman spoke, among others.
NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan facilitated the signing ceremony.