The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to introduce onetime password (OTP) for the ASYCUDAWorld system, an integrated customs management software for international trade and transport operations, in all the customs stations of the country including the Chattogram Custom House on Wednesday.
On 21 October, NBR Second Secretary (Customs Automation) Rakibul Hasan issued a letter in this regard to all the customs stations across the country.
The letter states the OTP module was developed to make the system more secure. The ASYCUDAWorld users will receive a six-digit code on their mobile phones and email account whenever they try to login to the system. They will be able to login to the system by correctly typing in the code, which will act as the second layer of security.
The NBR said after launching the OTP system, no one will be able to commit fraud by using another person's username and password.
Md Ahsan Habib Sumon, system analyst at Chattogram Custom House, told The Business Standard only the customs officials will come under the OTP system from Wednesday.
Importers, exporters, clearing and forwarding agents, shipping agents, freight forwarders and other stakeholders will come under the OTP system later, he added.
The ASYCUDAWorld system is used for all tasks in import-export of goods including submitting the bill of entry, assessing the shipment of goods, paying customs duty, and unloading goods at the port. All the software users have their individual usernames and passwords, but a group of miscreants used some customs officials' usernames and passwords to unload their consignments at the port without paying any duty.
For example, three years ago, a gang of frauds used a retired customs officer's username and password to unload 4,000 consignments worth Tk850 crore from the Chattogram port without paying any duty.
During the investigation, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate also found that eight customs officials and seven clearing and forwarding agents colluded to commit such frauds at the Chattogram Custom House.
Such incidents created panic among the customs officials, clearing and forwarding agents and other stakeholders, and they demanded protection of their accounts in the ASYCUDAWorld system. In this context, the National Board of Revenue has introduced the OTP module.
Launching the OTP system means even if someone's user ID and password are compromised for some reason, the miscreants will not be able to login to the ASYCUDAWorld system without inputting the OTP.
Altaf Hossain Chowdhury Bachchu, general secretary of the Chattogram Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association, said, "We demanded the launching of OTP to prevent fraud and forgery. When it is launched, no user will be able to claim that his ID and password has been stolen. However, it must be ensured that there are no errors in the system."