The revenue authority has restored duty-free import facility for 42 types of equipment for factories inside export processing zones across the country to promote investment.
"We have decided to resume the tax exemption in order to boost investment in the country's manufacturing sector," said a senior official at the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
The VAT and Customs wing of the NBR on Wednesday jointly issued a statutory regulatory order, giving a waiver to the items from various rates of duty – regulatory duty, supplementary duty, customs duty and Value Added Tax (VAT).
The EPZ factories will enjoy the tax exemption on a condition that the imported goods will not be sold or transferred to others without permission from the customs authorities, said NBR.
The benefit will take effect retroactively from June 30, 2019, according to the order signed by NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.
Revenue officials said the investors in the factories under the Bangladesh Export Promotion Zone Authority (Bepza) had been enjoying the benefits since April 2017.
The benefits were scrapped with the implementation of the new VAT and SD Act-2012 in the budget for the current fiscal year.
The exempted goods include industrial oil, fans, safety hand gloves, freezers, electric cables, tubes for vehicles, hand tools and their parts and components, air conditioners, lamps, exhaust fans, washing machines and measuring and testing devices.
The other items are office equipment, refrigerators for canteens, wireless sets, basic medical equipment, hospital furniture, ambulance, security appliances, office furniture, all kinds of generators, firefighting equipment, cooling machines and safety equipment for workers.
Businessmen from 38 countries have so far invested more than $5 billion in the export processing zones.
Currently, 465 factories are operating in eight EPZs under Bepza and they have employed more than 5.12 lakh local workers.