The National Single Window - set to be implemented by 2022 - will save time and money for the importers of the country. As a result of this initiative, it will not take more than one day to release imported goods from ports.
At present, it takes four days to release the goods after submission of bills of entry.
The deadline to submit bills of entry is now eight to ten days, and this will also be cut down to 72 hours only to reduce the delay in releasing imported goods.
"The National Single Window (NSW) would bring 39 agencies under a single roof to ease trading across the border. Once the NSW project is implemented, the country would see a significant improvement in the doing business indicator, and it would take one to two days to release goods from ports," said customs member (audit, modernisation and international trade) Khondaker Muhammad Aminur Rahman at a program on Tuesday.
"We will impose a penalty if bills of entry are not submitted within 72 hours of import," Aminur Rahman said.
Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) organised the programme on "Ease of doing business: Trading across border" at its premises with the support of International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Bangladesh Customs.
At the programme, high-officials of the National Board of Revenue shared their recent reform initiatives to simplify trading across borders to improve the country's level in the doing business index of the World Bank.
Customs Commissioners of Dhaka custom house Md Moazzem Hossain, Kamalpur Inland Container Depot Commissioner Md Anwar Hossain, Customs Bond Commissionerate (Dhaka) SM Humayun Kabir, among others spoke on the occasion.
Private sector specialist of IFC Nusrat Nahid Babi delivered introductory remarks while ERF General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam delivered the welcome speech.
Customs modernisation first secretary A A M Amimul Ehsan Khan gave a detailed presentation on recent initiatives taken by customs to expedite trading across the border.
All of the customs commissioners also stressed the need for proper coordination between the relevant agencies to improve the process of trading across the border.
Customs Member Aminur Rahman said the questionnaires of WB to assess the doing business indicators are quite complex and were not answered by the appropriate people who are aware of the latest development.
He said that in the Customs Act, the NBR will also limit the scope of physical examination to less than 3 to 5 percent of import-export products.
Customs Bond Commissionerate (Dhaka) SM Humayun Kabir said that clearing and forwarding agents delay the submission of bills of entry which slows the clearance of goods from the port.
Amimul Ehsan Khan said that about 15,000 bills of entry are submitted every day on average.
He said customs is not solely responsible for the delay in releasing goods from ports.