Testing labs need to be set up at ports so that imported raw materials can be released swiftly and factory production continues up and running, said Md Jasim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Wednesday.
Now, goods imported mainly through the Chattogram port have to be sent to Dhaka for testing, which leads to a delay up to a month in releasing the goods, he noted at the second meeting of the FBCCI standing committee on port and shipping held at the FBCCI office.
In the case of importers who have been importing the same products for many years, Jasim Uddin recommended checking consignments on a random basis.
Urging businesses to list problems related to ports and shipping and send it to the FBCCI, Senior Vice President of FBCCI Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said proper port operations are essential to create a business-friendly environment in the country.
He assured to continue all kinds of assistance from the FBCCI.
The senior vice-president also called upon traders to increase imports and exports of goods through land ports capitalising on the free transit facility offered by India.
Vice-president of FBCCI Md Habib Ullah Dawn said goods get stuck at ports for 15-20 days even if there is no fault detected during inspection, causing importers to pay extra in port charges and also count losses for late sales of the goods.
Members of the FBCCI standing committee said customs officials get a 15% incentive on the fines imposed on products because of HS code related mistakes. In many cases, the officials slapped fines on traders just to get the incentive, they claimed, calling for the cancellation of the provision of such incentive to stop this harassment.
They also suggested making the entire system online to enlist products in the NBR's list of HS codes easily and accurately.
Traders complained that the prime minister's directive to keep the port operational 24 hours a day is not being implemented.
They said they cannot get deliveries of goods on Fridays and Saturdays even though the inspection is done on Thursdays.
The businesses demanded that the NBR appoint sufficient officers to implement the directives of the prime minister.
Stating that Padma Bridge, Payra Port and Mongla Port have opened up windows of opportunities, Chairman of the FBCCI standing committee Md Parvez Sajjad Akhtar demanded the development of port infrastructure to utilise these possibilities.
Construction of a new jetty at Chattogram port is necessary, he also said.