Bangladesh's revenue authority and USAID country chapter's trade- facilitation wing jointly launched a customs website Wednesday with interactive options encompassing entire spectrum of trading matters, including overseas ones.
Launched under the joint auspices of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and USAID Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity (BFTA), the Bangladesh Customs Website is expected to help promote transparency and availability of customs trade information.
It will also disseminate passengers' arrival and exit data, duty calculators, duty-free facilities, baggage rules and all of the updated statutory regulatory orders (SROs).
The duty calculator of this website allows interested traders and others to get accurate information on Total Tax Impact (TTI). They would be able to know the payable duties and taxes for import consignments or items.
Speaking at the lunching ceremony in a city hotel, State Minister for Finance and Planning M A Mannan said the website would help in enhancing capacity of the NBR and facilitate people.
He appreciated the cooperation of USAID in developing the information superhighway on trade and tax.
Janina Jaruzelski, Mission Director, USAID Bangladesh, told the function that the site will make cross-border trade cheaper, faster, and easier.
The user-friendly tools of the website would help the traders access all customs-related information, she said.
"The move will ease doing business of Bangladesh by ensuring access to information," he said.
Md. Nojibur Rahman, Senior Secretary, Internal Resources Division (IRD) and NBR Chairman, said the revenue board will be converted to a digitized one.
It is an achievement of the country on trade facilitation, the revenue-board chief told his audience.
"This website will help to connect the stakeholders in a better way," he added.
Customs member Khandaker Aminur Rahman said customs is the lead agency on National Single Window.
"It is one of the major steps of customs towards its modernisation," he said.
There will be information in both Bengali and English on the website for both local and international traders.
Acting president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Nizamuddin Rajesh said the website would be very useful and supportive for traders and other interested parties.
Chief of Party, USAID BTFA, Dr. Md Khairuzzaman Mozumder made a brief presentation on the new customs website, which offers one-stop service for customs and trade information.
Customs law, allied acts, Standing Orders, Import and Export Policy Orders, International Regulations (including money-laundering regulations), Trade Remedy Measures (Anti-Dumping, Countervailing duties etc.) and all necessary forms and documents are available on the web.
The information on various trade incentives (such as duty drawbacks, export incentives and bonded warehouse) and information on fees and charges are also available and easily downloadable from this website.
Various trade information including export-import procedures (such as customs clearance, NRB facilities, currency regulations etc.) and information on transit and transhipment are available on this website. This customs website also has other interactive features such as Customs Hotline and preferential tariffs.
The new website is very comprehensive and it helps Bangladesh to comply with Revised Kyoto Convention and information provisions of the WTO TF Agreement.