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Garment exporters decry container scanning fees
Dec '09
Newly imposed scanning fees for export consignments in the Chittagong port put readymade garment (RMG) exporters and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at loggerheads.

The scanning fees, which the government imposed from early August, is an extra financial burden on exporters who are already impacted by global economic meltdown, believes Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

It has requested the government to withdraw these newly imposed fees of US $5 on full container load (FCL) and $2.5 on light container load (LCL). However, the government imposed scanning charges that the exporters, had to pay in other countries including Sri Lanka and Singapore, informed the NBR.

When the scanner machine was not available at the port, exporters of the country had to take help of Colombo or Singapore port for scanning the containers before shipment. To avoid this, the government is providing scanning facility on the port, and imposing scanning charges for maintenance of the machine, he added.

The scanner machines have been installed at the Chittagong port by the government in a bid to lessen down hassle and time in goods' export to the large destinations such as US and EU, where it is obligatory to scan each container before shipment, informed a senior customs official.

The official further said that these charges have been levied by the NBR following negotiations with the representatives of exporters. But NBR is ready for further discussion as per the demand of BGMEA, which found the service charge of $5 as an exorbitant rate for exporters.

The official said, these charges would be reduced after discussion, if it seems as a burden for exporters.

BGMEA sent a letter to the NBR saying, the customs authority cannot impose any service charge on local exporters.

Around 200 FCL containers or 3000 LCL containers are either cleared as imports or forwarded as exports every day from the Chittagong port, as per the statistics of BGMEA.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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