RMG exporters decry customs harassment, costs

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 3/6/2024 8:50:35 AM

Garment exporters have expressed grievances regarding harassment and additional expenses imposed by customs authorities when including the list of raw materials, known as HS Codes, in bond licences for importing or exporting raw materials for their products.

During a pre-budget meeting at the National Board of Revenue (NBR) conference room in the capital, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan expressed concern on behalf of garment sector entrepreneurs, stating, “A letter has been sent from NBR to address the issue of HS Codes, but it is not being implemented at the field level. New products are being added, necessitating updates to the list of raw materials in the HS Codes.”

Hassan further highlighted challenges faced by exporters, stating, “When we apply to the customs authority, the required approvals are not provided. Sometimes, only a fraction of the requested amount is granted, accompanied by additional costs.”

In response to trader complaints, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem urged traders to report specific instances of harassment, adding, “Tell us where harassment is occurring on a case-by-case basis rather than making general claims.”

During the meeting, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) also raised allegations of harassment within the industry.

BGMEA proposed several measures to alleviate challenges faced by garment exporters, including halving source tax on garment exports to 0.5% for the next five years, reducing income tax against cash assistance, easing exporters’ retention quota (ERQ) fund requirements, and proposing VAT exemptions on recycled fibre production.

Shining BD