The commerce ministry is set to introduce compulsory Unique Business Identification (UBID) from December for e-commerce trading on any online platforms including Facebook.
The ministry has finalised the process of issuing the UBID against trade licenses for e-commerce trading, a ministry official confirmed The Business Standard.
"Pending approval from the cabinet, the registration and issuance of UBID is set to begin from December," Md Hafizur Rahman, director general of the commerce ministry's WTO cell, said.
"We will forward the process for the cabinet's approval within the next couple of days. Later, upon nods from the commerce minister and ICT state minister we will officially start providing UBID to the e-commerce businesses," the additional secretary added.
Commerce ministry officials said any e-commerce traders, whether small or big, and on whichever platform they are operating, must be registered. Initially, the traders will be possibly given two-to-three months' time. The UBID will be issued to those who will get registration.
The officials added that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will shut down the sites or facebook pages of those who will fail to secure registration.
The registration applications must include information including identity of the owner, a copy of their national identity card, trade license, mobile number and permanent and current address. In addition, if the business is based within city corporations – a certificate from the ward councillor, the mayor of the municipality or the chairman of the union council must be submitted.
Applications will be screened and registered by the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC). However, there is no fee for this registration.
Those who do not receive, or do not register, will be monitored and upon identification by the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection and the IIT wing of the Ministry of Commerce, the BTRC will shut them down.
Besides, the Bangladesh Bank, the National Board of Revenue and the Ministry of Home Affairs will also be able to monitor the activities of e-commerce businesses.
Hafizur Rahman said that the application form will be available online, from where the e-commerce operators will be able to apply. Application forms are available on two websites, mygov.bd and ubid.gov.bd. These sites will have a list of registered companies, so that buyers can check and order products and services.
Companies that receive UBID will be able to publish it on their Facebook page or website. This will help buyers know that the company has government registration.