CHITTAGONG, Jan 5: Long lying and detained containers have been creating severe congestion at Chittagong Port (CP) and also depriving the government from its legitimate revenue, sources said.
As many as 418 containers, loaded with imported goods have been lying in the CP container yard since long. No positive step has so far been taken for clearing these by their importers. This is causing acute sufferings to the shipping agents, sources added.
Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA) had urged the customs commissioner of Chittagong several times to auction those import laden containers. However, there has been no appreciable progress in the matter.
Besides, some corrupt importers, in collaboration with certain dishonest bank officials opened a number of LCs for importing goods with the evil intention of money laundering.
The importers are engaged in transferring valuable foreign currency through those LCs at the cost of national interest. Because such imports, worth millions of US dollar annually have no real consumption in the country. Neither the importers nor their bankers are under any legal obligation to take delivery of those imported goods.
As a result, the containers with such imported goods have been left undelivered for years. Subsequently, they have become unfit for consumption and as such, are now fit only to be destroyed by the customs authority.
Experts said, Bangladesh Bank (BB), as the authority of all the banks' foreign exchange regulations should impose a mandatory clause to get rid of such situations.
BB should bring the banks who open the LCs under legal obligation to arrange taking delivery of the cargo 30 days after their clients or importers have failed to clear them, they added.