BANGLADESH: Mandatory E-Payment of Import Duties Commences 1 July
02 June 2021
Importers are to be obliged to pay all duties, fees and other customs-related charges of more than BDT2 million (US$23,500) electronically from 1 July. From 1 January next year, this requirement will apply to all such levies regardless of amount and extend to all ingress points, including air, sea and land ports. According to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) of Bangladesh, this will supersede the previous system which saw only larger multinational and domestic businesses make electronic payments, with the majority of such transactions conducted via cash payments to the customs department.
Prior to its national roll-out, the e-payment system had been trialed at Dhaka’s Kamalapur inland container depot since 1 April this year. As part of this pilot scheme, once duty had been determined and the demand presented to the importer/clearing agent, payment was transferred electronically to the Bangladesh treasury via the Sonali Bank’s 24-hour online system, which then confirmed the transaction via SMS or email. Under the previous system, payments needed to be deposited in bank branches during branch hours, a requirement that resulted in longer clearance times and added to the congestion and accruing charges at many of Bangladesh’s busy storage depots.
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