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EPB's no to CoO by associations

| Updated: April 11, 2022 20:18:13

EPB's no to CoO by associations

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is not in favour of granting the authority of issuing certificate of origin (CoO) of products to many associations.

The EPB's opinion came after the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) sought the authority of issuing non-preference CoO to plastic goods exporters.

"Granting the CoO-issuance authority to the BPGMEA may create misunderstanding among other associations involved with plastic sector," the EPB told the Ministry of Commerce in a letter this week.

"It may also create tendency among other associations to obtain the similar authority."

The EPB, in the letter, also opposed granting the CoO issuance authority in favour of the BPGMEA.

The EPB said in most of the countries the chambers concerned issue non-preferential CoO - in line with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) guidelines. In Bangladesh nine chambers of commerce and two large associations have so far been given the authority of issuing CoO in favour of their member factories for exporting goods.

These are: the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dhaka, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chittagong Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Narayanganj Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Bangladesh Chamber of Industries.

Besides, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association also issue CoO to their members.

On the other hand, the EPB is the government-appointed agency for the issuance of preferential CoO.

In export and import trade two types of CoOs are being issued, which are - non-preferential CoO and preferential CoO. Both the CoOs are used to check the authenticity of rules of origin (RoO) criterion of products.

The non-preferential CoO is submitted to the customs authority of any exporting or importing country to determine the authenticity of RoO criteria.

Usually, this CoO is used for most favoured nation treatment, anti-dumping, countervailing/safeguard measures, origin marking, quantitative restriction, tariff quota, government procurement, and trade statistics-related issues.

The preferential CoO is issued by the government selected competent authority - as guided by the World Customs Organisation. This CoO ensures that the exporters follow the RoO criteria, and the importers of a country get duty preference - based on this certificate. This duty preference is given under unilateral/bilateral/multilateral trade agreements.

The EPB thinks that an organisation needs to have some capabilities to issue certificate of origin. These include - preparation of a format for CoO form by including all export-related information, capacity to reply verification requirement of customs authority, and preserving export-related documents for three to five years.

A senior commerce ministry official said apart from the BPGMEA, some small associations also applied to get the CoO-issuing authority. But those applications were not taken into consideration. Regarding the BPGMEA's application, he said decision would be taken based on opinions from the EPB and experts.

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