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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

It takes 11 hours to release cargo from the sea in Bangladesh

To release air cargo in HSIA, it takes around seven days 11 hours and 19 minutes

Update : 06 Sep 2022, 04:36 PM

The average time from arrival to release of sea cargoes is more than 11 hours in Bangladeshi ports, while it is seven days for air freight and over 10 days for land cargoes, according to a recent study.

A group of World Customs Organization (WCO)-trained customs officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) conducted the Time Release Study (TRS) 2022 in Chittagong seaport, Benapole land port and Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), and found the average release time for imported products.

The TRS report was unveiled in a program at a city hotel on Monday, where Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, senior secretary of the internal resources division (IRD) and chairman of the NBR, chaired the event.

The TRS capacity building project was funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Government of Switzerland through the WCO-SECO Global Trade Facilitation Program (GTFP).

Speaking at the report launching, the NBR chairman said recommendations of the report would help to bring positive changes to trade facilitation in Bangladesh.

Abdul Mannan Shikder, NBR member (grade-1) - customs audit, modernization and international trade wing, hoped that the study findings would help to reduce the release time of imported products.

As per the study findings, release of cargo in Chittagong seaport, the country's largest import-export hub, needs approximately 11 days six hours and 23 minutes.

To release air cargo in HSIA, it takes around seven days 11 hours and 19 minutes.

In the country's largest land port, Benapole, release of land cargo takes around 10 days, eight hours and 11 minutes.

The time is required for various major steps, including arrival of cargo to bill of entry and hardcopy submission to customs. The process later needs assessment, followed by payment of duty and taxes, and physical release of goods.

However, completion of the customs procedures, from customs declaration to release, needs eight days for sea cargos, while two days 11 hours for air cargo, and five days four hours for land cargos.

The TRS study report recommended some actions for trade facilitation, including automation of the port activities and simplification of the customs clearance process by addressing duplication of work in Benapole land port.

For Chittagong seaport, the report recommended ensuring coordinated port activities with customs and other government organizations, elimination of redundant steps across customs and port processes, and addressing the need of non-intrusive inspection (NII) technology-based equipment.

For HSIA, it recommended improving cargo handling capacity and implementing the revised Kyoto Convention-compliant risk selectivity module.

The report also suggested conducting TRS on a regular basis to determine the actual release time in the ports and to address loopholes.

Other recommendations of the report included simplification of the customs clearance process, rationalization of customs policies, eliminating redundant steps across customs and port processes, simplification of business processes for collecting import documents, and sensitization of stakeholders.

TRS is a method, endorsed by the WCO, for measuring the time taken by the authorities concerned to release import-export cargoes.

As per Article 7.6 of the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the member countries are required to measure and publish average release time of import-export goods.

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