Expats appeal to NBR seeking clearance of goods stuck at Ctg airport for 5 months

A group of expatriate Bangladeshis, mostly from the Middle Eastern countries, have appealed to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) seeking clearance of goods weighing 25 tonnes, which have been stuck at the Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram for nearly five months.

A letter – signed by expatriates, including Khorshed Alam, Monsur Alam and Ershadul Alam, and sent to the NBR chairman – states that they had never faced such a troublesome situation before in sending goods to family. 

They alleged that they had approached the commissioner of Chattogram and other relevant officials with the necessary documents many times, to release the goods, but the Customs did not respond.

“Customs authorities are treating us unkindly and arbitrarily by detaining the goods at the airport. A process has started meanwhile to auction the goods, instead of releasing those,” reads the letter.

The expatriates said that they sent goods through the Chattogram airport under the unaccompanied baggage rule from 24 February, 2013. But without any prior announcement, the delivery of goods has been stopped on the verbal orders of the Chattogram Customs House commissioner. Twenty-five tonnes of goods sent for expatriate families have been lying in the airport warehouse for the last five months. Many of the goods are feared damaged.

Barrister Badruzzaman Munshi, deputy commissioner and spokesperson of the Chattogram Customs House, told The Business Standard, “Goods from more than one person have been brought using one expatriate’s passport. We are not clearing such goods. In addition, many consignments have brought commercial goods. The importers have been asked to submit the CP (clearance certificate) of the Ministry of Commerce. We have informed the National Board of Revenue about the entire matter”.

Earlier, The Business Standard ran two reports, titled “Unannounced baggage limit at Ctg airport catches many off guard” and “25 tonnes of goods sent by expats stuck at Ctg airport” on 8 July and 21 April respectively.

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