The government is going to make e-payment mandatory for customs duty, tax and fees of Tk 2.0 lakh and above on imported goods from July, 2021.
Meanwhile, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has prepared all the customs houses to ensure paperless customs duty from July.The e-payment has been introduced on a trial basis at Kamalapur ICD in the capital Dhaka since April this year.
NBR in an official handout on Monday confirmed that the revenue board prepared the customs offices with updated technologies for the automated e-payment system, from where customs duty, tax and fee can be collected in a paperless process.
From April 1, 2021, the Customs House and Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Kamalapur are receiving duties and taxes of all bills of entry and bills of export through electronic payment.
As per the roadmap of the NBR issued on August 31, 2020, all the customs houses and stations across the country will implement the e-payment system, irrespective of payment of any amount of duties and taxes, at their respective houses by January 1, 2022.
To implement the roadmap, the NBR organised a total of nine programmes to create awareness among stakeholders in Dhaka, Pangaon, Benapole, Mongla, Chattogram, Sylhet, Rangpur and Rajshahi.
The board also held meetings with the Bangladesh Bank, Sonali Bank, Comptroller and Auditor General's office, port authority, Bangladesh Association of Banks, BTCL, FBCCI, Clearing and Forwarding Agents Federation on March 15.In the letter signed by customs member Khondoker Muhammad Aminur Rahman, the NBR requested the central bank governor to ask the banks to make e-payment mandatory as per the roadmap.
The revenue board is set to make e-payment mandatory as part of its commitment made in the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to simplify trade, he said.
Traders would not have to face hassles on payment of duties and taxes and the government would receive its due revenue through ensuring real-time payment, he added.
The system will be hassle-free and help NBR realize actual duty which sometimes middlemen mislead the importers into collecting a higher amount of duties and taxes than that of actual payable ones, Aminur Rahman said.
There are also allegations that clearing and forwarding agents do not make full payment or make unusual delay in paying duty taxes after collecting those from importers, he said.
Such practices would be stopped after introduction of the mandatory e-payment system irrespective of any amount from January 1, 2022, Aminur Rahman added.
Currently, there is an option to pay duties and taxes electronically but it's not mandatory.