National Board of Revenue (NBR) asked all the customs houses and customs stations across the country yesterday (Wednesday) to carry out usual office activities for ensuring smooth operation of import and export activities.
The revenue authority cancelled its earlier order and issued a new office order in this regard as the situation at the ports deteriorated gradually due to poor delivery.
In an office order on March 24, the NBR asked the customs houses to carry out office activities at limited scale during the shutdown through providing services for releasing only the selected categories of import consignments, including essential commodities, emergency medicine and service-related materials.
But the move badly affected the daily delivery of imports from Chattogram port, creating acute container congestion inside, prompting the NBR to take decision within a week to widen the types of imports to be released.
Meanwhile on the day, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA) called upon its members to extend office hours from today (Thursday) to execute import delivery orders (D/Os) in the usual manner.
It made the call in an urgent letter to over its 450 members following the office order of the NBR.
In the letter, BSAA Chairman Ahsanul Huq Chowdhury requested the shipping agents to deploy required manpower at their offices taking proper safety measures to conduct issuance of import D/Os to the clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents for an extended period. Shipping agents have so far kept offices open for a limited period till 1:00pm every day since the shutdown began across the country.