The revenue authority asked offices to run usual activities on normal exports, imports of all kinds of products
The revenue authority has decided to keep customs houses and stations across the country open during the general holidays.
The customs division of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) today sent a directive in this regard to all the custom houses.
Currently, the NBR has been working on a limited scale to run usual activities with the minimum amount of workforce to help continue normal exports and imports of medical and security equipment and activities in export processing zones.
An official of the revenue authority said there was already an announcement to limit operations at the customs houses as the country has been on a month-long general holiday to rein in the coronavirus spread.
"Now, we want to be fully open for all kinds of exports and imports," he added.
Earlier on March 25, the revenue authority directed all customs houses and stations to remain open so that the normal supply of essential goods, medical equipment and security materials could be continued during the prolonged vacation.
The government had initially announced a public holiday from March 26 to April 4 and then extended it till May 5 in phases, saying just healthcare, security and other emergency services will remain open.
Along with that, all sorts of public transportation services using road, rail, water and air routes have been closed as part of an initiative to curb community transmission of the deadly virus.
According to sources at the NBR, currently, there are six customs houses in the country – Chattogram, Dhaka, Mongla, Inland Container Depot Kamalapur, Benapole and Pangaon.
Additionally, there are two Customs Bond Commissionerate offices in Dhaka and Chattogram.
There are also Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate and Customs Valuation and Internal Audit Commissionerate offices in Dhaka.
Furthermore, there are customs stations at 14 land ports at different points along the border with India, which operate under the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate offices.