Nine compliant traders have been given the status of authorised economic operators (AEOs) as they work as trusted businessmen of the customs for export-import trade without interruptions.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) recognised them on the International Customs Day-2023 on Thursday.
The customs wing also handed over World Customs Organisation (WCO) certificate of merit to its officials and three government entities.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal delivered a speech through a video message at a seminar hosted at a city hotel on the day.
He said Bangladesh customs would be able to help achieve the prime minister's 'Smart Bangladesh' vision by 2041 through modernising its activities.
NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem vowed to make customs clearance and other administrative procedure paperless for faster goods delivery.
Cost of revenue earnings is one of the lowest in Bangladesh, so the NBR team is working with an all-out effort to mobilise maximum revenue, he said.
The revenue board wants to increase the number of AEOs to make business process simpler.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Md Jashim Uddin called for lending more support to the domestic industry to help the country develop import-substitute production units.
Bangladesh needs to develop its backward-linkage industry to reduce import of those goods, he cited.
The FBCCI chief urged the NBR to intensify mutual interaction with businesses before imposing any new method of revenue collection.
Dr Abdul Mannan Sikder, member of customs audit, modernisation and international wing, delivered a welcome note while customs policy member Md Masud Sadiq presented a keynote there.
Mr Mannan said capacity building of customs officials is required to facilitate export-import trade.
Customs duty has to be rationalised gradually as Bangladesh is heading towards a middle-income economy.
Proper policy support would be needed to offset the revenue loss, Mr Mannan added.
Meanwhile, Mr Sadiq said the NBR's revenue collection has increased 41 times since its inception.
He said the NBR has introduced non-intrusive inspection to expedite delivery of products from port without unpacking it at ports.
Eleven scanners are now in operation at different ports while six are in the pipeline, added the keynoter.
He said the AEO is one of the areas where the NBR is yet to see the light of success.
Through automation, the NBR is trying to eradicate fraudulence in opening letter of credit, import and export permissions.
"It would be possible to reduce customs clearance time if other relevant entities automate simultaneously with customs," said Mr Sadiq.
Zakia Sultana, member of VAT policy wing, said customs wing have to make trade procedure simpler and risk-free, and balancing on this is important.
Goods clearance from ports should not be delayed in the process of risk management, she asserted.
The AEO status recipients are Fair Electronics Limited, Shoenivers Footwear Limited, Jihan Footwear (Pvt) ltd, ACI Godrej Agrovet Pvt Ltd, Towa Personal Protective Device Bangladesh Ltd, Cutting Edge Industries Ltd, Omera Cylinders Limited, MBM Garments Ltd and M/S Footsteps Bangladesh Ltd.
WCO certificate winners are Dr Md Neyamul Islam, first secretary (customs exemption and project facility), and joint commissioners Md Ruhul Amin, Abdul Rashid Mia, Shakila Parveen and Mohibur Rahman Bhuiyan.
Customs policy second secretary Md Parvez Reza Chowdhury, deputy commissioners Md Payel Pasha, Mitul Banik, Md Iftekhar Alam Bhuiyan, Ayesha Siddiqua and Jebunnessa, assistant programmer Kamrun Nahar Maya, revenue officer Biplob Roy, assistant revenue officers Animesh Mandal, Md Fahad Chowdhury, Monirul Islam and Md Asaduzzaman Khan also received the WCO merit award.
Industries and shipping ministries, and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh also received the certificate.