The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has proposed setting up a joint commission to address day-to-day customs and bond-related issues and simplify annual audit procedures.

The proposal was made at a meeting at its headquarters, attended by Dr Rubana Huq, president of the BGMEA, as well as customs bond commissioners.

Another demand was considering HS codes for products up to four digits. A spokesperson for the BGMEA told just-style that currently, HS codes range up to 8 digits in Bangladesh. "Considering up to 4 digits will make assessment easier," he says.

Additionally, calls were made for the inclusion of new raw materials and other related materials with the HS codes in the bond licences and in case of emergency, the release of goods provided with BGMEA's approval.

The meeting heard that exporters were facing harassment and difficulties related to customs and bond issues. Exporters also face difficulties regarding the entitlement of bond licences, with factories not being able to release their products due to online unavailability. 

According to re:source by just-style strategic sourcing tool, Bangladesh is the world's second-largest ready-made garment exporter, and the textile and apparel sector contributes around 20% to Bangladesh's GDP. It employs around 20m people in the country and is the major driving force of the country's economy.