The Federation of Bangladesh Customs Clearing and Forwarding (C&F) Agents Association recently demanded exemption from filing vat returns every month and urged the government to amend the Customs Agents Licensing Rules 2020.
The federation sent a letter to the chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) regarding this on 27 November.
If the demands are not met by 21 December, the federation will carry out a strike, C&F leaders declared during an emergency meeting of the central executive council of the federation on Saturday.
In the meeting, the C&F leaders said that the C&F agents pay 100% vat in advance through bill of entry but even then, filing vat returns every month is unreasonable.
Alhaj Mofizur Rahman Sajan, the president of the Federation of Bangladesh Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association, said, even though the C&F agents kept the country's economy afloat as front-line revenue collectors amid the pandemic, the Customs Agents Licensing Rules continues to curtail the civil rights of the agents.
Kazi Mahmud Imam Bilu, first joint general secretary of the Chattogram Customs C&F Agents Association, who attended the meeting, said, "We have written to NBR three times before but to no avail. This is the fourth time we are sending a letter and if our demands are not met, all the customs stations in the country alongside Chattogram Customs House will observe strikes."
Various other leaders and representatives of C&F organisations also took part in Saturday's meeting.