The Chattogram customs office has issued an order directing customs authorities not to issue any clearance certificates without a letter of authorization.
According to the 1969 National Revenue Council Customs Act, traders must appoint a customs clearance agent and freight forwarder and must submit an authorization letter with an entry bill of lading or an export bill of lading to obtain customs clearance.
Traders are breaking the rules in an attempt to hide the actual volume of imports and exports and to dodge tariffs, NBR officials said.
The office order signed by CHC Commissioner Mohammad Fakhrul Alam was issued on Sunday to prevent false import and export declarations and expedite the release of imported goods from the customs port.
The CHC said securing the authorization letter by traders would help customs officials uncover the revenue evasion and take severe action against those who attempt to evade the revenue.
Fakhrul told New Age that the instruction was issued based on current customs policy.
He said: “Although most traders have attached the letter of authorization to their entry or export invoice, which helps us to maintain transparent administrative work during the customs process, a number of traders avoid nevertheless intentionally to submit the authorization letter. “
If the rule is implemented, customs clearance and release of goods from ports would be faster, he said.
Customs clearance and shipping agents play the key role on behalf of traders in making declarations to customs authorities regarding the value and quantity of import and export goods and other cases, Fakhrul said, adding: ” Customs authorities will have the power to confiscate related products. ‘
NBR officials said there were allegations that a section of traders evaded duties and taxes and laundered money by making false claims about the quantity, quality and value of goods from import and export.