• Saturday, Jan 28, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

NBR issues fresh guidelines for prompt discharge of perishable goods

  • Published at 01:25 pm August 17th, 2021
kitchen market bazar
Photo: RAJIB DHAR

The latest guideline will allow authorities to speed up the custom duty process and make discharge from ports easier

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has issued a new set of rules to accelerate the import and export of 63 types of perishable goods at the ports.

The latest guideline, signed by NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem and named “Perishable Goods Speedy Release and Disposal Regulations 2021”, will allow authorities to speed up the customs duty process and make discharge from ports easier.

NBR Public Relations Officer (Director) Syed A Mu’men confirmed the matter on Tuesday.

The products that can now be quickly discharged are livestock, birds and animals, ducks, chicken and poultry, frozen fish, fish fry, yeast, plants and seedlings, mushrooms, fresh flowers, fresh fruits, fresh capsicum, raw rubber, all kinds of seeds including plum, dates, unprocessed tobacco, oilseeds, potatoes, cereals and grains, and lentils. 

The list also includes sugar, black salt, common salt, testing salt, milk and dairy products, frozen and processed meats, poultry eggs, chocolate, biscuits, vermicelli, chips, noodles, chanachur, pickles, dried fruits, tea leaves, coffee, betel nut, coconut, ghee, butter oil, molasses, nuts, fertilizers, rawhides, beets, onions, garlic, chillies, ginger, raw turmeric, fresh and frozen vegetables, tamarind, soya berry D, raisins, all food and cosmetics for a period not exceeding six months, medicines and medicinal raw materials and edible oils.

Due to various hitches, perishable goods remain at different customs houses in the ports for long periods of time. 

This inefficiency causes importers to suffer and the government ends up losing timely revenue.

According to the rules, each customs house has to form a separate group of not more than five members in order to unload the perishable goods quickly.

In addition, if everything is in accordance with the rules, the process of customs clearance of perishable goods has to be completed within a maximum of 48 hours.

The rules on rapid disposal of perishable goods further state: "Any importer or exporter may submit a bill of entry to any system within 24 hours if they desire."

If an importer does not unload the goods within the stipulated time, an officer of the rank of deputy commissioner (DC) will settle the matter of auction or destruction.

In case of shipments of goods selected for physical examination or non-intrusive inspection, if there is any query or doubts, it will be recorded under the Inspection Act and sent to the concerned branch within 12 hours of monitoring.

However, the draft rules also assert that this timeframe can be extended; subject to the permission of the concerned commissioner.

Besides, seized goods such as sugar, salt, etc., can be sold or transferred at a fixed price in coordination with the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

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