The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is working to replace manual customs duty payment system with the e-payment system by December 2021 and make it mandatory from January 1, 2022, NBR sources said.
As part of this move, NBR will make online payment mandatory for imports and exports conducted through the customs house of the Inland Container Depot at Kamalapur, Dhaka by April 2021.Besides, online payment of customs duty and related taxes above Tk 2 lakh for importers and exporters will be mandatory at all customs houses and stations from July 2021.
The NBR circulated the decision with a time-befitting plan to make the customs duty payment system fully automated.
Introduction of the e-payment platform will help modernise the system and also limit the scope of duty evasion as unscrupulous traders, their customs and clearing agents may also evade taxes by taking advantage of the manual tax payment system through submitting forged challans or invoices, a senior official of NBR said.
He said that commissioners of the customs houses and land customs stations would soon issue a Gazette notice in this connection.
In addition, they will also arrange training and awareness programmes in collaboration with the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry to popularise the system, among traders.
Commercial banks which are linked to the NBR’s customs e-payment system will also motivate their clients to adopt the e-payment system.A total of 41 commercial banks are now connected with the system introduced in March 2017 to facilitate faster and smoother customs duty payment for importers and exporters.
According to the NBR, traders paid Tk 41.1 billion in duties and taxes online in July‑March in the last fiscal year 2019-2020 which accounted for a very small percentage of the total customs duties worth Tk 605.52 billion collected in the fiscal year.
Traders paid a total of Tk6.3 billion in duties online in FY2017, the amount went up to Tk 14.50 billion in FY2018 and dropped to Tk 11.3billion in FY2019, the NBR data showed.