Bonded warehouses for all sectors, duty-free raw material imports mulled
DOT Desk: The National Committee on Exports, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will meet tomorrow to decide on policy measures for the development of the export sector, reports TBS.
Among the topics to be discussed at the meeting are the implementation of bonded warehouse facilities across all sectors, as has been done in the garment industry, and the provision of duty-free import of raw materials and machinery for exportable products, according to sources at the Commerce Ministry.
Additionally, the committee may decide on the implementation of the duty drawback facilities for 100% export-oriented products, as well as incentives for domestic production and exports in accordance with the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures after the country’s graduation from LDC status in 2026. The SCM agreement disciplines the use of subsidies and regulates actions countries can take to counter the effects of subsidies. The sources also said the meeting will be attended by 11 ministers, including the finance and commerce ministers, 11 secretaries, including those of finance and commerce, the principal secretary to the prime minister, the Bangladesh Bank governor, executive chairpersons of Bida, Beza, and Bepza, as well as the presidents of various business associations, including the FBCCI. The meeting will take place at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Ministry of Commerce has drafted an agenda containing several policy incentives aimed at expanding the export of goods and services in preparation for the upcoming meeting. One such incentive is the bonded warehouse facilities, which allow factories to import raw materials duty-free and store them on their own premises under the supervision of customs. This eliminates the need for the factory to pay duty at the port and saves time that would otherwise be spent waiting for the release of raw materials. Exporters without these facilities, however, must pay duty on imported raw materials and then apply to the National Board of Revenue for reimbursement of the paid duty after the export of finished products. The Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission’s report indicates that this process can take up to 4-5 years. In 1997, Bangladesh introduced a special bonded warehouse facility for the ready-made garment industry to reduce lead time for exports.