Bangladesh to Implement Initiatives to Expedite Trade Procedures
25 February 2020
The Government of Bangladesh will introduce procedures to fast-track processing of cross-border trade in Bangladeshi ports.
Beginning July, Bangladesh will implement a pre-arrival processing of import documents. Once this is in place, cargo shippers will need to submit an import general manifest and bill of lading to the Customs authority for processing once they depart a port en route to Bangladesh’s ports. Processing of these documents usually takes five to seven days. Currently shippers only submit these documents upon arrival, noted a report by the Journal of Commerce.
Delay in delivery and congestion at ports is a major concern for shippers. Introduction of a pre-arrival process will help speed up customs processing of cargo by giving officials enough time to check the import documents, and help them decide which consignments need to go through physical checks. This will also help shippers avoid or lessen paying demurrage fees, reducing the cost of doing business. Shippers incur port yard demurrage fees from the fifth day onwards.
Forum on Ease of Doing Business
Customs officials also discussed initiatives that will further expedite procedures for import and export at a recent talk on “Ease of Doing Business: Trading across Borders” in Dhaka. They plan to require importers to submit the bill of entry within 72 hours. They are also set to implement a National Single Window that will house 39 agencies under a single roof. Customs commissioners stressed the need for proper coordination among relevant agencies to improve the process of cross-border trade.