Customs Bond Commissionerate (Dhaka) of the National Board of Revenue has recently locked more than 1,000 business identification numbers of bonded warehouse licence holders for non-compliance with conditions of the licence and other irregularities.
The CBC has also asked the customs houses across the country to check the BIN status of the bond licence holders before offering benefits under the licence issued for duty-free import of raw materials for the export purpose.
With the locking of the BINs, the bond licences and benefits are suspended until the BINs are unlocked.
Officials of the CBC said that the BINs of the bond licence holding businesses were locked due mainly to non-compliance issues, including not providing the annual export and import data and non-cooperation in audit activities, and misuse of bond facilities.
Information related to export and import data is important for bond offices to examine whether the licence holders utilised the raw materials imported under duty-free benefits in producing finished products and exported those products, they said.
They also said that many businesses also sold the raw materials on the local market, violating conditions of the licence that caused losses of revenue of the government.
The CBC on March 21 published the list of BIN-locked business entities, containing the names of BINs of 3,505 business firms.
The commissionerate by this time has unlocked BINs of around 300 licence holders following compliance by the owners of the firms, the officials said.
Currently, there are more than 7,000 bond-licence holding entities, including the BIN-locked and inactive firms, issued mainly to export-oriented industries such as direct exporters and deemed exporters.
Of the locked BINs, there are around 900 bond-licence holding entities which are non-existent in business activities.
Businesses require an active BIN to conduct export and import activities but there are fears that BIN-locked companies may continue duty-free import due to loopholes in the system, the officials said.
The CBC on March 21 asked the customs houses across the country to be careful on the issue as it was found that some exporters were enjoying the duty-free import benefits despite having inactive BIN as the customs’ Asycuda World system was not updated with the newly locked BINs.
The commissionarate often issues order to lock or suspend BIN due to irregularities of exporters and violations of conditions of the bond licence and the AW system implements the order by locking BINs, the NBR letter said.
But there are cases that the locked BINs are not locked in the AW system for various reasons, the letter said.
Some businesses maintain two active BINs (nine-digit and 13-digit BINs) at a time and that is why the information related to BINs are not updated in the bond database and in the AW system, it said, adding that the AW system also faced difficulties to comply with CBC instructions.
In this situation, customs houses have been asked to release import and export consignments keeping in mind the list of locked BINs uploaded in the web site of the CBC, the letter said.
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