RMG exporters seek HS code rule relaxation

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:56, Jan 02,2021


Readymade garment exporters have urged the National Board of Revenue to relax the provision of mandatory inclusion of harmonised system codes in bond licence in releasing imported raw materials under bonded facilities.

The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association on December 30, 2020 sent a letter to the NBR chairman, saying that the releasing of raw materials was facing a delay in the Dhaka and Chattogram custom houses due to the provision of mandatory inclusion of HS codes of import items with the bond licence.

The situation subsequently is causing a delay in export shipment, it said.

The trade body demanded the dropping of the provision and said that considering the fast changing fashion industry exporters had to import various types of raw materials for producing export goods and it was difficult for the exporters to know the requirements of buyers in advance.

The letter signed by BKMEA president AKM Salim Osman requested the NBR chairman to issue a directive allowing the release of raw materials as per the description of buyers’ requirements and HS codes mentioned in the utilisation declarations issued by the BKMEA and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in line with the import policy.

The trade body in the letter also demanded that the NBR do not consider errors in HS codes, if any, as miss-declarations rather the authorities should allow importers to release consignments with imposing tax under appropriate codes.

The trade body demanded a modification of bonded warehouse licensing rules, saying that readymade garment exporters are facing discount or cancelation of orders from global buyers as the exporters are missing shipment deadline due to the ‘unnecessary provision’.

Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, a former vice-president of the BKMEA, told New Age that the provision of mandatory inclusion of HS codes in bond licence was unneces sary as all imports under the bond facility were for exports and the government had all statistics about imports and exports.

It is very difficult for exporters to misuse the raw materials imported under the facility as the NBR preserves all data of import and exports, he said.

‘We have to import some of the raw materials for fashionable items as per the requirements of buyers and the NBR can easily release the consignments without inclusion of HS codes of the items in bond licence as the codes are mentioned in the UD issued by the trade body,’ Fazlee said.

Exporters face harassment, financial losses and shipment delay for the provision, he added.

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