Transparency International Bangladesh has found that the Mongla Port Customs House and Port Authority collects Tk 200 million ‘outside the bounds of the law’ during the import and export of goods. The Mongla Customs House collected Tk 156 million in 2016-17, while the Port Authority collected Tk 46.1 million in violation of the law, according to a survey of users done by TIB. The TIB estimates that each import vehicle has paid a tariff of Tk 4,000 while vehicles carrying duty-free products paid Tk 1,715 to pass the customs check at the port.
The report also states that Tk 8,350 is collected by the customs house in this manner when ships arrive at and depart the port, while the Port Authority collects Tk 21,000. Vessels carrying duty-free products are charged Tk 6,000 before 5pm and Tk 7,200 afterwards.
In that same period, a total of Tk 28.5 million had been collected for bills of entry in the import-export process at the customs station at Burimari Land Port, while the land port authority collected Tk 4.8 million.
According to the report, the Burimari Motor Labourers Union has collected Tk 5.04 million in bribes from vehicles used for imports and exports in that time.
The report titled “Mongla Port and Customs House and Burimari Land Port and Customs Station: Challenges of Good Governance in the Import-Export Process and Crossings” was presented at a press conference at Dhakas MIDAS Centre on Sunday.
“The collusion and forceful corruption at both ports exists at the institutional level,” said TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman at the press conference. “The authorities are aware of this corruption. But they dont act because they take advantage of it.”
According to the report, the procedures for inspection of import-export goods and the complex rules for tariffs and duty-free goods leaves room for Mongla Port and Customs House employees to take advantage of the situation.
“Though automation and one-stop services have begun at both ports, they have been intentionally left inactive. It has not been possible to establish a paperless office.”
The TIB says that one-stop service for tariffs, physical inspections, duty-free services and the entry and the arrival and departure of vessels should be instituted at the ports to stop this corruption.