The Government of Bangladesh introduced the new Import Policy Order 2015-18 on February 2016. The new policy puts emphasis on easing the imports of raw materials for use in export-oriented industries. The country of origin must be noted on all products, product packaging, or containers. However, for imports of coal, cotton, aluminum, and export-oriented garment and industrial related raw materials, the country of origin is not required. Nuclear radiation tests are mandatory for imported milk, dairy, edible oil, vegetable seeds, grains, and other food products. Such certification should also be submitted to Customs authorities. The list of Import Products of Bangladesh is huge.
Non-commercial importers (individuals and organizations) may import goods worth seven thousand dollars for personal use; with permission, non-commercial importers may import more than seven thousand dollars’ worth of goods. According to the new policy order, ocean-going ships, oil tankers and fishing trawlers older than 25 years cannot be imported. To import abandoned ships (scrap vessels), the exporter or owner must have a certification and importer must issue a declaration to the effect that ‘toxic or hazardous waste are not being transported’.
Prohibited Import Goods:
Before importing goods into Bangladesh importer should ensure that they do not fall into the category of prohibited goods. Prohibited goods cannot be imported, exported, transited, sold or circulated in Bangladesh. Among prohibited goods are weapons, narcotics, psychotropic substances and hazardous chemical substances. Importer should refer to the specific laws and regulations that cover these prohibitions.
- Items banned on either religious, social, health, or economic policy grounds include illegal drugs, materials that would offend religious sensitivities, certain agricultural products and several types of reconditioned equipment.
- In addition, the importation of goods from Israel and shipment of goods on vessels operating under the Israeli flag are prohibited.
- Additional items are restricted, but not banned, from import for religious, social, health, security or trade reasons.
- Of the restricted items, some may be imported with prior permission, while other items may be imported only by authorized industrial users (e.g. pharmaceutical enterprises) or government agencies (e.g. arms and ammunition).
Bangladesh imposes registration requirements on commercial importers and private industrial consumers. In some cases, the registrations specify maximum values of imports. Commercial importers are defined as those who import goods for sale without further processing. Private industrial consumers are units registered with one of four sponsoring agencies: the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), for industries located in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs); the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), for small and medium-sized enterprises; the Handloom Board, for handloom industries run by weavers’ associations engaged in the preservation of classical Bangladesh weaving techniques; and the Bangladesh Investment Development Board (BIDA), for all other private industries.
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bangladesh’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Bangladesh.
- Machinery including computers (12.7% of total imports)
- Cotton (12.4%)
- Mineral fuels including oil (8.7%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment (7.3%)
- Iron, steel (5.2%)
- Vehicles (3.9%)
- Manmade staple fibers (3.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles (3.6%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes (3.3%)
- Cereals (2.8%)
In 2018, Bangladeshi importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers:
- Miscellaneous machinery (+128.5% from 2017)
- Yarn wash/clean/iron machines (- 3%)
- Computers, optical readers (- 9.1%)
- Engines (diesel) (+ 30.7%)
- Sewing machines, related furniture (+ 22.9%)
- Knitting/stitching machines (- 23.2%)
- Textile fiber work machines (+ 17%)
- Vapour-based boilers (+ 179.5%)
- Air or vacuum pumps (+ 1.2%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators (+ 0.3%)
In 2018, Bangladeshi importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of cotton and textile related products:
- Cotton, un-carded, uncombed (- 3.2% from 2017)
- Woven fabrics, 85%+ cotton (+ 4.3%)
- Woven cotton fabrics (+ 14.4%)
- Yarn, 85%+ cotton (+ 15%)
- Woven fabrics mixed (+ 14.8%)
- Woven fabrics, under 85% cotton (+ 8.4%)
- Yarn, under 85% cotton (+ 8.5%)
- Other woven fabrics (- 2.5%)
- Cotton, carded, combed (- 84.5%)
- Cotton sewing thread (+ 27.8%)
In 2018, to import products of Bangladesh, the importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:
- Processed petroleum oils (+ 51.5% from 2017)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal (+ 17.6%)
- Electrical energy (+ 444.6%)
- Petroleum gases (- 38.6%)
- Petroleum oil residues (- 68.9%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes (- 22.9%)
- Lignite (no 2017 data)
- Coke, semi-coke (+ 141.2%)
- Distilled tar (+ 57%)
- Coal tar oils, high temperature distillation (- 14.4%)
In 2018, to import products of Bangladesh, the importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics:
- Phone system devices including Smartphone’s (- 6.7% from 2017)
- Electric generating sets, converters (+ 30.2%)
- Electrical converters/power units (+ 10.7%)
- Insulated wire/cable (+ 11.9%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels (+ 37%)
- Unrecorded sound media (+ 7%)
- Electric motor parts (+ 63.6%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors (+ 25.8%)
- Electric storage batteries (- 27.4%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses (+ 6.6%)