The National Board of Revenue (NBR) allows businesses with satisfactory compliance records to apply for the status of authorised economic operators (AEOs).
According to a new rule issued on June 28, the customs authorities will accept applications from the businesses for appointing AEOs.
An AEO will enjoy the facility to complete physical examination of import-export goods on their business premises.
Their goods will be released from ports directly. They will also get quick reimbursement of duty drawback.
The AEOs will enjoy privileges on completion of customs valuation procedure like submission of bill of entry and bill of export before arrival of ships at port.
Other facilities include completion of valuation procedure with submission of important documents, prompt service from special customs team and easy and special entrance to any customs stations.
In the 'Authorised Economic Operator (Authorisation) Rules-2018', the customs wing gave a detail on criteria for gaining AEO status, benefits for selected AEOs, audit, penalty for non-compliance and other issues.
The businesses will be considered to be eligible for application subject to meeting certain conditions.
A company has to be in operation in Bangladesh for at least five consecutive years before the date of application, according to the rules.
It must have good compliance records in payment of income tax, customs and Value Added Tax (VAT).
An applicant must have no record of proven offences or infringements of tax laws for the last three years.
A business will have to clear all undisputed arrears before submitting an application.
The degree of penalty in any cases regarding customs, income tax and VAT should not be above 1.0 per cent of the total value of goods and services.
This excludes those who are under trial in courts.
To apply, the authorised capital of a business should be at least Tk 150 million and paid-up capital Tk 50 million.
Even the annual turnover should be continued at least Tk 50 million for the last three consecutive years before the submission of an application.
If the applicant is an importer or exporter, his or her average annual import of export volume should be at least Tk 50 million during the period.
According to the rules, applicants will have to submit self-assessment questionnaire with the application.
It will have information regading management, business, production, supply chain, compliance record, accounting and logistics, financial solvency, safety and security requirements, storage of goods and some other issues.
Mohammad Fakhrul Alam, first secretary of customs audit and modernisation wing of the NBR, said businesses can apply for AEO status anytime from now on.
The customs wing will scrutinise the applications as per rules, he told the FE on Monday.
A committee, headed by a customs commissioner, will scrutinise the applications.
It will also conduct audit of activities of AEOs every three years or any time deemed necessary.
The commissioner will terminate an AEO certificate for a false declaration in import-export, tax and duty evasion, deviation from the criteria and other issues.
In that case, the culprit business will not be allowed to apply for the status for the next three consecutive years.
In the rules, the NBR have given a prescribed format of application for AEO status and recognition certificate.
It earlier selected two biggest pharmaceutical companies to run AEO programme on a pilot basis.
The regulator is yet to take any decision whether it would launch the pilot programme or run the direct AEO programme, officials said.