Bangladesh National Workshop on the New Customs Act and Related Best Practices
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) jointly organized a National Workshop on the New Customs Act and Respective Best Practices in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17-20 August 2015 to familiarize Customs and other border officials with provisions of the Customs Act of 2015, including its processes and requirements, in relation to the existing act.
Outcomes of the workshop included:
Increased knowledge and understanding about the new Customs Act, resulting from participatory discussions between Customs officials and business sector representatives on:
Developments that led to the amendment of the existing Customs Act in Bangladesh, including the Revised Kyoto Convention(RKC), World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA), and World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework), as well as factors that affect trade facilitation and supply chain security in Bangladesh;
Main changes in the new Customs Act, including provisions dealing with transparency, such as advance ruling, rule making, publications, and consultations; effectiveness and efficiency measures, including risk assessment, risk-based selectivity, coordinated intervention, and predictability and uniformity in e-filing, e-clearance, and e-payment; predictability and uniformity of fees, temporary importation, and inward and outward processing; and security and business partnerships, including confidentiality, Customs control, simplifications, and Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) program;
Best practices stipulated under the RKC, WTO TFA, WCO SAFE Framework, and provisions that support greater integrity in Customs and participation of the private sector; and
Features of risk management, Customs cooperation practices, and AEO standards and processes.
Support and commitment from Government officials toward the implementation of the new Customs Act and achievement of its objectives.
The New Customs Act will be submitted to the Parliament in September 2015.
Finance Minister of Bangladesh Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the Workshop, which was also attended by Japan Ambassador to Bangladesh Masato Watanabe. ADB Country Director Mr. Kazuhiko Higuchi gave opening remarks. Thirty-five key Customs and border officials from Bangladesh, together with representatives from the private sector participated in the Workshop.
ADB financed the Workshop as part of its technical assistance to Bangladesh,Supporting Bangladesh's Participation in the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program, funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. This technical assistance aims to create a modern Customs administration for Bangladesh through improved border clearance mechanisms and facilitation of trade information access for traders, and seeks to better align Bangladesh Customs procedures and practice with internationally accepted standards.