The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to make mandatory the e-payment of its fees and charges.
The decision will be implemented in phases, starting from the first day of the next financial year (2021-22).
From July 01 next, payment of fees and charges above Tk 0.2 million for all import-export products will be have to be made electronically.
The customs (modernization and project management wing) in a letter on March 3, 2021 requested the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to instruct all the commercial banks to implement the decision.
From April 1, 2021, the Customs House, Inland Container Depot (ICD), Kamalapur will receive duties and taxes of all bills of entry and bills of export through electronic payment.
As per the roadmap of the NBR issued on August 31, 2020, all the customs houses and stations across the country will implement the e-payment system, irrespective of payment of any amount of duties and taxes, at their respective houses by January 1, 2022.
To implement the roadmap, the NBR organised a total of nine programmes to create awareness among stakeholders in Dhaka, Pangaon, Benapole, Mongla, Chattogram, Sylhet, Rangpur and Rajshahi.
The board may also hold meetings with the BB, Sonali Bank, Comptroller and Auditor General's office, port authority, Bangladesh Association of Banks, BTCL, FBCCI, Clearing and Forwarding Agents Federation on March 15.
In the letter signed by customs member Khondoker Muhammad Aminur Rahman, the NBR requested the BB governor to ask the banks to make e-payment mandatory as per the roadmap.
Talking to the FE, Mr Rahman said the board is set to make e-payment mandatory as part of its commitment made in the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to simplify trade.
Traders would not have to face hassle on payment of duties and taxes and the government would receive its due revenue through ensuring real-time payment, he added.
"It has been found that middlemen sometimes mislead the importers into collecting a higher amount of duties and taxes than that of actual payable ones."
There is also allegation that clearing and forwarding agents do not make full payment or make unusual delay in paying duty taxes after collecting those from importers, Mr Rahman said.
Such practices would be stopped after introduction of the mandatory e-payment system irrespective of any amount from January 1, 2022, he added.
Currently, there is an option to pay duties and taxes electronically but it's not mandatory.
So far the NBR has received around Tk 50 billion in duties and taxes through e-payment which may exceed Tk 100 billion by December, Mr Rahman said.
"Through stakeholders' meeting, we have received some suggestions including opening banks 24/7 and extending the banking hour for receiving payment."
The authorities concerned would take decision on this reviewing impact after introducing the mandatory e-payment system, he said.