For imported goods into Bangladesh, shipping agents submit their manifest data (containing description of imported goods by ship) electronically to the Customs authority. Once the Import General Manifest (IGM) is submitted online, the nominated C&F Agent (or the importer himself) completes the goods declaration (popularly known as Bill of Entry or B/E) from their own premises and submits the goods declaration to Customs systems through ASYCUDA World. The declaration or B/E has to be made in a specific format, known as Single Administrative Document (SAD).
The Prescribed Bill of Entry and Bill of Export Form Order, 2001 issued by the NBR outlines the documentary submission requirements. For release of goods from Customs, following documents need to be submitted along with the declaration for all types of imports:
- Letter of Credit (L/C).
- Bill of Lading/AWB/Truck Receipt/Railway Receipt
- Packing List
- “Country of Origin” Certificate (except coal and export oriented garments industries)
- Insurance policy/cover note
- VAT/BIN Certificate
Following additional documents are required for different types of goods, such as:
- A certificate from the BSTI is necessary to clear 55 items for which BSTI certification is mandatory, as per Import Policy Order, 2015-2018 Para 26(28), if the import consignment does not have a certificate from an accredited laboratory in the exporting country.
- Radioactivity test report from the concerned authority of the exporting country for food items (Import Policy Order, 2015-2018 Para 16).
- Clearance certificate(s) from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission for food items to the effect that the radioactivity level found in the imported food-stuff is within the acceptable limit.
- Pre-shipment Inspection test report for milk food products and powder milk, coal and hard coke, Break Acrylic (HS 39.15 and 3915.90), M.S. Billets (7207) and for items where the value of a single item authorized for import by public sector agencies is Taka fifty lac or above.
- Approval letter of the Chief Inspector of Explosives of the Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources for import of explosives (Import Policy Order, 2015-2018 Para 26).
- Copy of intellectual property certificate (attested by the IPR holder of the branded goods) in the case of import of branded goods registered under any law related to IP in Bangladesh [Para 5(6) of Import Policy Order, 2015-18]
Once the duties and taxes are assessed by Customs, the importer (or his C&F agent) pays duties and taxes. On payment of duties and taxes assessed, Customs issues release order for clearance and after completion of port formalities, goods are cleared.
Samples valued up to US $100 and weighing up to 5 kg is cleared (through manual system) same-day (in Dhaka Air freight) if the consignee authorizes duty and tax to be billed to the shipper on the Air Waybill. Samples valued over US $100 and weighing more than 5 kg will require formal clearance through ASYCUDA WORLD system.
It is to be noted that for the customs clearance of imported animals, plants and plant products, quarantine conditions (such as certification from quarantine, fumigation etc.) shall have to be observed. Fumigation is mandatory in case of import of raw cotton produced and packed in Western Hemisphere.
If an import consignment is not cleared within 21 days (of the date of unloading at a Customs airport) or 30 days (of the date of unloading at a customs-port or a land customs station or customs-inland container depot), or within the extended time as the appropriate officer may allow, the consignment may be disposed of through auction [Section 82 of the Customs Act 1969].
In cases, where it is not possible immediately to assess customs-duty that may be payable on any imported goods for the reason that the goods require chemical or other test or a further enquiry for purposes of assessment, or that all the documents or complete documents or full information pertaining to those goods have not been furnished, Customs authority may assess the consignment provisionally. In such cases, the importer (except goods entered for warehousing) needs to furnish unconditional bank guarantee/security deposit of an amount (as deemed sufficient by Customs) from a scheduled bank for the payment of the excess amount of duty that may be payable after the final assessment. In this case, the final assessment has to be completed within a period of 120 working days from the date of provisional assessment.