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TIB for full implementation of automation in Chittagong Port and Custom House

 
 
 
 
 
TIB tabled 9 recommendations including full implementation of automation in export-import and duty assessment process at Chittagong Port and Custom House. These recommendations were tabled at the press launch of the study titled ‘Automation of Export-Import in Chittagong Port and Custom House: Governances Challenges and Way Forward’ on 14 July 2014 at a Hotel in Dhaka. Manzoor-E-Khoda and Juliet Rossette, Programme Managers, Research and Policy, TIB presented the findings of the study that analysed data collected during January – May 2014 period on Chittagong Port and Custom House. M Hafizuddin Khan, Member, Board of Trustees; Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director and Dr Sumaiya Khair, Deputy Executive Director, TIB were also present at the study release.
According to the report, partial implementation of automation in Chittagong Port and Custom House marked some successes. For instance, clients now can locate a container by using mobile or internet- thanks to implementation of Container Terminal Management System (CTMS). Besides, they can submit Bill-of-Entry and Bill-of-Export through online from anywhere with the help of web based ASYCUDA World system. Some other positive achievements include auto generation of registration number (C number), automated duty assessment according to HS code, even automated tax payment through online banking for non-commercial items, etc.
Despite these positive achievements, port users and stakeholders expressed their dissatisfaction over the state of service delivery at Chittagong port and Custom House. 
 
 
 

 
They were skeptical about success of partial automation. One of the major objectives of automation was to establish a paperless office, which is not attained and the provision of manual signatures is still mandatory at various stages of the business process in Custom House and port. Besides, the provision of online duty payment for commercial goods is yet to be placed. Around 60/70 personnel are working in the custom house premise as personal assistants of custom officials who are recruited illegally by the officials themselves. Lack of interest and technical knowledge of port employees on automation, provision of container stripping at yards, unavailability of different modules of CTMS, not using the various implemented modules of CTMS effectively, are hampering the automation to run in full swing.

A vested group in collaboration with a section of port and custom officials is active against the implementation of full automation, to reap financial benefits ultimately hindering governance in Chittagong Port and Custom House - Dr Iftekharuzzaman

Apart from these challenges, the study also revealed about the illegal transactions of minimum 3000 Tk per consignment in assessment, additional 4000 Tk per container for physical examination if needed, during the assessment process and at least 800 Tk per container to release from the port. The estimated total minimum value of daily illegal transactions in Custom house is Tk 4.75 million and Tk 1.72 million in port during cargo releasing process.
 
 
 
Commenting on the governance challenges Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “A vested group in collaboration with a section of port and custom officials is active against the implementation of full automation, to reap financial benefits ultimately hindering governance in Chittagong Port and Custom House.” “It is high time to bring the culprits into book and ensure exemplary punishment and thus establish governance” he added.
In order to address the governance challenges TIB recommendations among others include full and effective implementation of CTMS in port and ASYCUDA world in custom house by establishing connectivity with all concerned institutions, discontinuing the provision of container stripping inside the port, performance evaluation of officials and assess the effectiveness of automation by independent and impartial third party, adoption of training programmes to enhance technical skills of officials, exemplary punishment against illegal financial transactions, introduce and implementation of code of ethics for officials and their wealth disclosure etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Automation of Export-Import in Chittagong Port and Custom House: Governance Challenges and Way Forward Full Report (Bangla)