The National Board of Revenue has again permitted traders to transport import containers, meant to be carried from the Chattogram Port to Dhaka through railways, using river routes in a bid to ease container congestion in the country’s largest sea port.
Customs wing of the revenue board on March 15 issued a gazette notification allowing traders to release their imported goods, which were supposed to be released from the Kamalapur Inland Container Depot in Dhaka, from Pangaon Internal Container Terminal located at Keraniganj in the capital.
Officials said that generally importers required carrying imported goods through railways from the Chattogram port if they wanted to release those at the Kamalapur ICD.
The Chittagong Port Authorities sends the products to the Kamalapur ICD through railways as per requirement of importers after unloading the items from vessels.
Importers, however, require mentioning the name of Kamalapur ICD in their import manifest as the port of customs assessment and release.
But, now they will be able to transport their imported goods, meant to be sent to the Kamalapur ICD from the Chattogram port, through waterways to the Pangaon ICT, they said.
The Kamalapur ICD customs house will conduct customs assessment of the goods at the Pangaon ICT and importers will take their goods from there, according to the notification signed by customs policy member Syed Golam Kibria.
The notification said that the NBR made the decision as a temporary measure to ease the ongoing container congestion at the Chattogram port due to a transport crisis.
The benefit will remain in place till May 31, it said.
Earlier on August 1 last year, the NBR offered the similar benefit to importers for three months up to October 31.
Importers, customs and clearing agents and other stakeholders had frequently requested the revenue board to extend the facility due to the container congestion at the port.
Traders claimed that imported containers took 15 to 20 days, instead of usual two to three days, to reach the Kamalpur ICD from the Chattogram port due to a train shortage amid lack of coordination between the government agencies.
Importers are incurring a huge amount of demurrages due to a delay in delivery of goods.
The situation may worsen in the coming months, they claimed.
According to the notification, importers or customs and clearing agents will provide the list of containers to the respective shipping lines and ask them to transport the containers or consignments to the PICT through river routes.
A list of containers should also be provided to commissioners of the ICD and the PICT.
PICT authorities will arrange facilities for customs assessment, inspection and release of the consignments on its premises.
The PICT will also ensure security of containers and consignments after arrival at the terminal until importers take delivery of goods.
Importers, however, will not be able to change or amend the import manifest of the consignments, the notification said. (Source: New Age)