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Customs Law in Bangladesh: Legal Requirements for Importers and Exporters

Updated: Apr 3, 2023



Customs law in Bangladesh is an important area of law that regulates the import and export of goods in the country. It is crucial for importers and exporters to comply with the legal requirements set forth by customs law to avoid penalties and legal consequences. This article will provide an overview of the legal requirements for importers and exporters in Bangladesh and explore how lawyers can assist in complying with these requirements.



Legal Requirements for Importers in Bangladesh


Importers in Bangladesh are required to comply with a number of legal requirements to import goods into the country. Some of these requirements include:


1. Import Registration Certificate (IRC): Importers are required to obtain an IRC from the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports before they can import goods into Bangladesh. The IRC is valid for three years and can be renewed upon expiration.


2. Letter of Credit (LC): Importers are required to open an LC with a bank in Bangladesh to pay for the goods they are importing. The LC is a payment guarantee from the importer's bank to the exporter's bank that payment will be made upon receipt of the goods.


3. Bill of Entry: Importers are required to file a Bill of Entry with the customs authorities before the goods are cleared for import. The Bill of Entry contains details about the goods being imported, such as the description, quantity, value, and origin.


4. Customs Duty: Importers are required to pay customs duty on the goods they are importing. The amount of customs duty varies depending on the type of goods being imported and the country of origin.


5. Prohibited and Restricted Goods: Importers are prohibited from importing certain goods into Bangladesh, such as counterfeit currency, firearms, and narcotics. Certain goods are also restricted, such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals, require a special permit to be imported.



Legal Requirements for Exporters in Bangladesh


Exporters in Bangladesh are also required to comply with a number of legal requirements to export goods out of the country. Some of these requirements include:


1. Export Registration Certificate (ERC): Exporters are required to obtain an ERC from the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports before they can export goods out of Bangladesh. The ERC is valid for three years and can be renewed upon expiration.


2. Letter of Credit (LC): Exporters are required to receive an LC from the buyer's bank to ensure payment for the goods they are exporting.


3. Bill of Export: Exporters are required to file a Bill of Export with the customs authorities before the goods are cleared for export. The Bill of Export contains details about the goods being exported, such as the description, quantity, value, and destination.


4. Customs Duty: Exporters are required to pay customs duty on the goods they are exporting. The amount of customs duty varies depending on the type of goods being exported and the destination country.


5. Prohibited and Restricted Goods: Exporters are prohibited from exporting certain goods out of Bangladesh, such as antiques, wildlife, and certain cultural items. Certain goods are also restricted, such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals, require a special permit to be exported.



How Lawyers Can Help


Lawyers can assist importers and exporters in complying with the legal requirements set forth by customs law in Bangladesh. Some ways in which lawyers can help include:


1. Obtaining Import and Export Licenses: Lawyers can assist importers and exporters in obtaining the necessary licenses required by customs law, such as the IRC and ERC.


2. Drafting Contracts and Agreements: Lawyers can draft contracts and agreements between importers and exporters that comply with customs law requirements and ensure that both parties are protected in the transaction.


3. Customs Valuation: Lawyers can assist importers and exporters in determining the customs value of the goods being imported or exported, which is necessary for calculating customs duty.


4. Tariff Classification: Lawyers can assist importers and exporters in determining the correct tariff classification of the goods being imported or exported. Tariff classification is important because it determines the rate of customs duty that must be paid.


5. Compliance with Prohibited and Restricted Goods: Lawyers can advise importers and exporters on the laws and regulations regarding the import or export of prohibited or restricted goods. They can also assist in obtaining the necessary permits or licenses required for the import or export of such goods.


6. Dispute Resolution: Lawyers can represent importers and exporters in disputes with customs authorities or other parties involved in the import or export process. They can also assist in resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.



Scenarios and Examples


Scenario 1: An importer in Bangladesh wants to import a large number of chemicals for use in their manufacturing process. The chemicals are restricted and require a special permit to be imported. The importer is unsure of the legal requirements for obtaining the permit and is concerned about the potential penalties for non-compliance.


In this scenario, a lawyer can assist the importer by advising them on the legal requirements for obtaining the permit and ensuring that all necessary paperwork is completed and submitted to the appropriate authorities. The lawyer can also assist in negotiating with the authorities if any issues arise and can represent the importer in any disputes or legal proceedings.


Example: A lawyer advises the importer on the legal requirements for obtaining the permit and assists in preparing and submitting the necessary paperwork. The lawyer also represents the importer in negotiations with the authorities and successfully obtains the permit. The importer is able to import the chemicals and continue their manufacturing process without any legal issues.


Scenario 2: An exporter in Bangladesh wants to export a large number of textiles to a buyer in Europe. The exporter is concerned about the customs duty that will be imposed on the goods and is unsure of the correct tariff classification.


In this scenario, a lawyer can assist the exporter by determining the correct tariff classification of the textiles and advising on the customs duty that will be imposed. The lawyer can also assist in negotiating with the buyer to ensure that the terms of the contract comply with customs law requirements and protect the interests of the exporter.


Example: A lawyer assists the exporter in determining the correct tariff classification of the textiles and advises on the customs duty that will be imposed. The lawyer also negotiates with the buyer to ensure that the terms of the contract comply with customs law requirements and protect the interests of the exporter. The exporter is able to export the textiles and pay the correct amount of customs duty without any legal issues.


Scenario 3: A customs authority in Bangladesh has imposed a penalty on an importer for non-compliance with customs law requirements. The importer is unsure of the legal options available to challenge the penalty and is concerned about the potential consequences.


In this scenario, a lawyer can assist the importer by advising on the legal options available to challenge the penalty and representing the importer in any legal proceedings. The lawyer can also negotiate with the customs authority to reduce or eliminate the penalty.


Example: A lawyer advises the importer on the legal options available to challenge the penalty and represents the importer in a legal proceeding. The lawyer successfully negotiates with the customs authority to reduce the penalty and the importer is able to continue their business without any further legal issues.



Conclusion


Customs law in Bangladesh is an important area of law that regulates the import and export of goods in the country. Importers and exporters must comply with the legal requirements set forth by customs law to avoid penalties and legal consequences. Lawyers can assist in complying with these requirements by obtaining licenses, drafting contracts, determining customs valuation and tariff classification, ensuring compliance with prohibited and restricted goods, and resolving disputes. Lawyers can play a crucial role in ensuring that importers and exporters operate within the bounds of the law and avoid legal issues that can arise

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Mar 19, 2023
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