The National Board of Revenue has set a target of reducing the time for completing import procedures to two days and that for export procedures to one day by 2022.
On average, releasing imported goods currently takes eight days while it takes five days for completing export procedures at ports.
The revenue board has set the target under the National Single Window (NSW) project being implemented with the support of Bangladesh investment Climate Fund (BICF) of International Finance Corporation (IFC).
NBR member and NSW project director Khondaker Muhammad Aminur Rahman revealed the information at a workshop on the NSW, held in Habiganj on Sunday.
The IFC organised the workshop where representatives of 39 government and private agencies participated.
Aminur said that the current results of time release study (TRS) on release of export and import goods were not satisfactory.
He said that the time and cost of doing business would be reduced significantly once the project would be implemented.
Then, Bangladesh will be considered as a lucrative destination for investors, he said.
He expected that the NSW would begin full-scale operations within two and a half years.
A total of 39 agencies, both public and private, would be interconnected with the NSW online platform to deliver speedy services to exporters and importers.
NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan in a video conferencing speech said that all of the trade portals of 39 agencies would be interconnected through the NSW.
‘A trader can use it as a single platform,’ he said.
Mosharraf also instructed the project officials to complete the project within the stipulated time.
The implementation of NSW project with the estimated cost of around Tk 600 crore is scheduled to expire in December, 2020. The project, however, will be extended for two years up to 2022 due to slow progress in implementation.
NBR member (VAT audit and intelligence) Masud Sadiq said that the major objectives of the project were reducing the cost and time of business, expediting business and removing complexities.
IFC private sector specialist Nusrat Nahid Babi also spoke at the workshop presided over by Sylhet customs commissioner Golam Md Munir.
The NBR adopted the NSW project in 2017.
Later in August 2018, the revenue board signed memorandums of understanding with 39 government and private sector agencies which will be connected with the NSW system meant for providing all services related to export and import from an electronic and online platform.
A single window is defined as a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.
Traders will have to submit the relevant documents only once to the platform for export and import purpose instead of submitting sets of documents to various agencies.
The agencies include Prime Minister’s Office, finance, commerce, industries, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, health and family welfare, shipping, power, energy and mineral resources, civil aviation and tourism, posts, telecommunications and information technology ministries, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association and Bangladesh Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association.
According to the NBR, 3.19 lakh importers and exporters are expected to be benefited from reducing the time and cost for trade once the system becomes operational.