Bangladesh: IBM Awareness Session with Customs

Dhaka: On October 1 2020, ICMPD organised a session on Integrated Border Management (IBM) Awareness for the Bangladesh Customs, National Board of Revenue (NBR). The awareness session was attended by Deputy and Assistant Commissioners from 12 Customs Houses and Commissionerates across Bangladesh, as well as by officials from training, investigation and intelligence directorates based in the Custom’s Headquarters in Dhaka. Deputy and Assistant Commissioners are responsible at their respective posts for the monitoring of VAT collection, enforcing anti-smuggling activities, examination of imported goods, and management of international passenger movements.

The awareness session, presented by international border management and customs experts, introduced the concept of Integrated Border Management (IBM) and the importance of cooperation and coordination at both an intra-agency (within Customs) and inter-agency (between all border agencies) in ensuring effective management of Bangladesh’s borders. A dedicated session on the role of Customs and practical measures to take in response to COVID-19 was also presented with a question and answer session to support Commissioners organise their work.

The main challenge for Customs agencies in the 21st century is finding the right balance between facilitation and enforcement. That means balancing the facilitation of trade of the legitimate goods and movement of regular passengers on one side and trade security on the other, i.e. protecting the international trade supply chain from threats posed by organized crime, smugglers, commercial fraudsters, terrorists, and even goods that could endanger people.

This activity was implemented within the framework of the EU-funded Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes Project.