This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Customs bill placed in parliament

The Customs Bill-2023, aiming to ensure fiscal discipline and accountability in import revenue collection and trade facilitation, was placed in parliament yesterday.

In the absence of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Law Minister Anisul Huq placed the bill, which was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry for further scrutiny.

Google News LinkFor all latest news, follow The Daily Star's Google News channel.

The committee was asked to submit its report within seven days.

Revenue collection at the import level in Bangladesh is being conducted according to The Customs Act, 1969. Necessary amendments to this act have so far been made through the Finance Act in the budget session every year.

But in the light of the Revised Kyoto Convention and the Trade Facilitation Agreement, alongside the expansion of foreign trade, there is a need to amend existing customs laws in order to make them more business-friendly and compliant with international best practices.

The Customs Act, 1969, was enacted in the English language by incorporating international best practices related to customs. It was part of the multi-faceted reforms and modernisation programme undertaken by the government and the National Board of Revenue to promote international standards of customs management in international trade.

In recent times, initiatives have been taken to enact a modern customs law.

Accordingly, a draft bill was prepared in consultation with various organisations and stakeholders.

After various reviews and revisions of the draft, the Customs Bill-2023 has been prepared, aiming to make up-to-date provisions on revenue collection, expansion of import and export trade, facilitation of businesses and expansion of new industrial sectors.

The salient features of the proposed Customs Bill-2023 include the framing of the act in Bengali.

In addition, while the Customs Act, 1969 has a total of 223 sections, the proposed bill has 269 sections in accordance with international agreements and conventions approved by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

These include Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), Electronic Declaration, Risk Management, Post Clearance Audit (PCA) and Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII).

Various essential aspects of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), signed for the purpose of simplifying various procedures of customs and approved under the leadership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), were also included.

These include Advance Ruling, Stakeholder's Consultation, National Inquiry Point (NEP) and Advance Passenger Information (API)/Passenger Name Record (PNR).

A number of other important matters have also been addressed in the new bill.