The government has been studying ways to reduce paperwork for exporters in a bid to make life easier for them and boost exports. The move is expected to slash the cost of trading by minimising hassles and streamlining export procedures.
According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), exporters currently have to prepare 11 types of documents. In addition, a large number of procedures are involved in each of them. Traders have to wait for two to three days to get each document approved by the government.
TEPC Executive Director Sarad Bickram Rana said the government wished to
revise the documentation procedure for exports. “To this end, the Commerce Ministry has formed a study panel consisting of representatives from the Commerce and Customs departments, TEPC and the private sector,” said Rana who is also a member of the committee.
Lack of one-stop service and a manual documentation system has forced exporters to face delays when exporting their products. “The increase in the time interval has pushed up the intermediary cost of trading,” said Rana. He added that neighbouring countries had adopted the practice of using the least number of documents.
Rana said traders no longer need to obtain a separate approval certificate from the TEPC for local products being shipped abroad for exhibition in trade fairs.
Previously, traders needed to get a certificate of origin and the TEPC’s approval certification to receive customs clearance. “We have coordinated with customs offices to ease shipment of these types of goods even without the TEPC’s approval letter,” Rana said.
According to him, the TEPC has also been mulling to remove the requirement to obtain a Generalised System of Preference certificate after obtaining the certificate of origin. “As both these documents are used to verify that a product has been manufactured locally, we have aimed to minimise such duplication,” Rana added.
The country’s trade deficit has been swelling annually, and this has been blamed
on a slowed growth in export earnings and ballooning imports. Traders have complained that complicated paperwork and procedures have prevented exports from rising faster.
The TEPC statistics show that the country’s trade deficit rose 19.1 percent to
Rs613.72 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. While imports jumped 18.6 percent to Rs661.22 billion, exports rose 11.9 percent to Rs47.50 billion during the period mid-July to mid-February.Published: 2018-03-22 08:23:07