The government has set a target to cut the time for completing import and export procedures to two days and one day respectively by 2022. Currently, it takes eight days for clearing the imported goods and five days for forwarding export items through different customs ports.
National Board of revenue (NBR) has set the target under the National Single Window (NSW) project being implemented with the support of Bangladesh investment Climate Fund (BICF) of International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Some 39 agencies, both public and private, would be interconnected with an integrated portal to deliver speedy services to the exporters and importers under the project. Major objectives of the project were to reduce the cost and time of business, expedite it and remove complexities.
The plan was shared by NBR in a visioning workshop organised by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at Habiganj on October 20. IFC organised the workshop where representatives of 39 government and private agencies participated.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is implementing the NSW project with support from Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF II) being implemented by the IFC and funded by the DFID.
Once the system becomes operational, a total of 319,000 importers and exporters are expected to benefit from the reduced time and cost, according to the NBR. All of the trade portals would be interconnected through the NSW. The NSW is expected to come into full-fledged operation within two years and a half.
A guideline will be prepared to implement the NSW so that a trader can use the NSW as a single platform.
The NBR signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard with 39 private and public agencies in August 2018. Through the NSW, all services related to export and import will be provided from an electronic and online platform.
It is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents through a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.
Exporters and importers will have to submit the relevant documents only once to the NSW platform instead of submitting sets of documents to various agencies.
The agencies include Prime Minister’s Office, ministries of finance, commerce, industries, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, health and family welfare, shipping, power, energy and mineral resources, civil aviation and tourism, posts, telecommunications and information technology, and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry. They also include Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association, and Bangladesh Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association.
The USD 74.1 million project was scheduled to expire on December 2020, but extended until 2022 due to slow progress in implementation.