The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh has started registering local exporters with the European Union database, known as REX (registered exporter) system, to facilitate issuance of statement on origin of goods and retain the GSP (generalised system of preference) facility in the European Union.
Under the system, EPB has given registration number to 10 local exporters at a ceremony held at its office in the city on Sunday.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi was present as chief guest. Senior secretary of commerce Mofizul Islam, EPB acting vice chairman Shafiqul Islam, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Sheikh Fazle Fahim and its vice president Md Siddiqur Rahman, Bangladesh Chamber of Industry president Anwar ul Alam Chowdhury, among others, were present.
The 10 exporters are: Zabair and Zubair Fabrics Ltd, Rifat Garments Ltd, Square Fashions Ltd, Noman Terry Towel Mills Ltd , Sea Mark Bd Ltd, Akij Jute Mills Ltd, Pran Agro Ltd, Karuponno Rangur Ltd, M/S Uniglory Cycle Industries Ltd and Universal Jeans Ltd.
The REX system is based on principle of self-certification by exporters, who will issue statements on origin to themselves on eligibility of duty-free facility to the EU, the biggest export market of Bangladesh.
To be entitled to issue the statements on origin, the exporters will have to be registered in the EU database known as the REX system through EPB.
The REX system has been implemented to simplify export formalities, reduce workload, cost of exporter and administrative burden.
Speaking at the event, the minister said the EPB will have to register around 6,000 exporters into the REX system by December next to pave the way for issuance of statement on origin against export from Bangladesh. "The EPB has to issue registration numbers to 200-250 exporters weekly to meet the deadline," he said.
The system was to introduce in January last and Bangladesh is already lagging behind by seven months, Mr Munshi said, adding that India and Sri Lanka have already introduced the system.
"We have to comply with the requirement by December 2019 as there is a pressure to do the same," he said.
He also called on the businesses to maintain honesty in the issuance of self declaration and cautioned that none should misuse the system that might spoil the image of both the country and the business community.
Regarding possible challenges of the system, the EPB chief said misuse and false declaration might be the major challenge.
The senior secretary of commerce stressed on identifying the risks and suggesting possible ways to overcome the challenges.
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