Complex customs formalities prevent the government from obtaining Tk445.41 crore revenue from a total of 4,728 cars stuck in Mongla Port.
Due to red tape importers are reluctant to obtain the release of the stranded vehicles.
Sources said around 200 companies are involved in importing cars through Mongla Port. Haq’s Bay Automobiles imported the lion’s share of them.
Contacted, Managing Director of Haq’s Bay, also former president of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicle Importers and Dealers Association, Abdul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune that the importers can’t release import-restricted cars due to high taxation and port rent.
“Moreover, sometimes the importers do not release the cars due to lower market price.”
According to Mongla Customs House (MCH) data, of the cars, 61 were imported in 2010-12, 455 import-restricted and 4,212 under regular category.
Revenue of around Tk445.41 crore also remains uncollected, according to the data.
Mongla Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association president Sultan Hossain Khan told Dhaka Tribune, “The cars remain stranded due to valuation complexities created by MCH officials and unwillingness of the importer.”
He also alleged that customs officials are not business friendly and they are creating various problems to businesses.
Mongla Customs Commissioner Al Amin Pramanik, However, said they are going by the NBR rules and release of the cars is underway.
Of the cars stuck in the port vicinity, 61 are under auction process, valuation of 455 cars in processing according to the Commerce Ministry’s statutory regulatory order, he added.
“The rest of the cars will be released and sold at auction after physical test and valuations.”
Mongla Port Authority Chairman Commodore AKM Faruque Hasan requested the NBR for quick disposal of the cars from the port.
The National Board of Revenue Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman also instructed the customs authorities to quickly dispose of the motor vehicles at the port.
He also instructed the authorities concerned to make concerted efforts in this regard.
According to NBR member Farid Uddin, the importance of Mongla Port will increase after implementation of Padma Bridge, Rampal Power Plant and other development projects.
He also suggested keeping a provision that would allow importing vehicles only through Mongla Port.
Mentionable, car is the most-imported goods through Mongla Port now.
In the first eight months of the current fiscal year 2016-17, cars worth Tk1588.71 crore were imported through the port, adding Tk1450.12 crore in revenue.