Shrimp exporters from Khulna region are now facing trouble in the wake of a new condition recently tagged by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Some custom complexities surfaced over the use of shrimp packaging products in export soon after the Mongla Customs House Authority has tagged a condition of opening inland letters of credit (LC) using foreign currency instead of local currency and back-to-back LCs for purchasing shrimp packaging materials- cartons and accessories, which is usually applied for garment sector of the country.
Against the backdrop, shrimp exporters have now been worried as the new decision cannot be applicable to them because the frozen fish exporters don’t import any materials, Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) Senior Vice President M Golam Mostafa told the Dhaka Tribune.
Currently, there are around 60 shrimp processing units in Khulna and out of them around 40 units are engaged in exporting shrimp abroad. Shrimp exporters had long been purchasing packaging items from the local bonded warehouses through local LC for the last one-decade. Shrimp worth around Tk100 crore still remained unsold just because of the new condition imposed by the authority, he said.
Under such a circumstance, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday organised a meeting with the BFFEA members to resolve the complexities over collection of packaging materials and accessories for the export-oriented frozen fish exporters.
Presided over by NBR Chairman Nojibur Rahman, the meeting formed a seven-member committee headed by NBR member AFM Shahriar Molla to review the application from the frozen food exporters and were asked to file a report by next 21 working days in this regard.
The other members of the committee are-Custom Intelligence and Investigation Directorate Director General Moinul Khan, NBR First Secretary Mohammad Shafi Uddin, BFFEA Senior Vice President M Golam Mostafa, its Director M Rezaul Haque, and Managing Director of Sharifa Printers and Packagers Private Limited Mahmud Ahsan Titu. NBR Second Secretary Mohammad Imtiaz Hasan will act as the member secretary of the committee.
Addressing the meeting, NBR Chairman said, “The authorities will continue its efforts to expand frozen food industry for encouraging the overall export industry of Bangladesh.”
Out of total shrimp export from Bangladesh, 70% are from Khulna, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.