Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Bangladesh.

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers


Bangladesh import policy places rules, regulations and controls on the import of products.

Some product restrictions are applied by government organisations, which include:

  • banned list
  • restricted list
  • freely importable items (imports falling outside the above lists could be imported either freely or by fulfilling specified conditions)
  • certification requirements for all food products.

All other permitted imports require a Letter of Credit Authorisation (LCA) form to be completed:

  • allowing registered commercial importers to import without the need of an import licence
  • importers must lodge a 10 to 100 per cent cash margin against covering letters of credit (depending on the business relationship with the banker)
  • import transactions are governed by regulations specified on the Import Policy Order (IPO) issued by the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, Ministry of Commerce
  • foreign exchange is controlled by the Bangladeshi Bank in accordance with Foreign Exchange Control policy
  • allocation is administered through authorised financial institutions
  • all imports must be supported by a letter of credit, except for the import of capital machinery and raw materials for industrial use.

There is a short list of prohibited goods including, most second-hand goods. Penalties for the smuggling of illegal narcotics are severe.

Some engineering products must comply with established technical standards and require an inspection certificate issued by a recognised organisation.


There has been a reduction of duties in recent annual government budgets. The peak rate of basic import duty has fallen to 25 per cent. The other applicable charges are:

  • advance income tax: five per cent
  • value-added tax: five to 15 per cent
  • supplementary duty: 10 to 150 per cent, varies product to product and mostly applicable on luxury items.

Customs duties are levied on all imports except:

  • generators
  • IT equipment
  • raw cotton
  • textile machinery
  • certain types of machinery used in irrigation and agriculture
  • animal feed used by the poultry industry
  • certain drugs and medical equipment.

Duty rates of five to 25 per cent include:

  • general input items
  • basic raw materials
  • intermediate and finished product.

Supplementary duties are levied on ‘luxury’ items such as cigarettes and perfume.

Excise duties have been abolished on all items except manually prepared cigarettes, bank accounts and textiles. Food and medicine used in the poultry and dairy sectors, raw cotton and textile machinery are exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT).

Visitors may bring into Bangladesh up to 200 cigarettes, a maximum of one litre of alcoholic beverages and approximately US$5000 without declaring it.

Samples in reasonable quantity can be carried here during travel and no tax is required. However, duty is applicable on samples if sent by courier.

Product certification, labelling and packaging


Outer containers should bear the consignee and port mark and should be numbered to accord with the packing list, unless the contents can be otherwise readily identified. Buyers should guide exporters. Outer containers weighing more than one tonne must have the gross weight stencilled on the top and two sides.

All goods must show the country of origin in large indelible letters, preferably in English, on label or container.

Drugs, pharmaceutical, pesticides, insecticides and chemicals are subject to special marking regulations.

Milk foods are subject to special regulations such as special marking or packaging requirements (e.g. must be imported in tin containers).

All food products must contain expiry date on its package/box.

Each container holding pesticide must be in good condition and be marked with the correct technical name of the contents. It must also indicate the manufacturer's name, net weight or quantity of contents and should bear a cautionary note with instructions for the safe handling and use of the product.


Packing should be strong and should guard against extreme heat in summer, humidity in the rainy season and possible storage in the open.

Instructions for handling should preferably be expressed in English or self-explanatory symbols.

Packing material likely to carry diseases must not be used and hay or straw used as packing require special certificates.

Special certificates

Livestock, plants and seeds require a health certificate issued by an approved authority, fruits and vegetables are excluded from this requirement, with the exception of potatoes.

A radioactivity test report and certificate to the effect that the product is fit for human consumption are mandatory for imported milk, milk food, milk products, edible oil and other food items. A radioactivity test is also required for all poultry and animal feed products.

In addition, leaf tobacco requires a certificate confirming that it is free from ephestia elutella or that this pest does not exist in the country of origin.

Used clothing requires a certificate of fumigation. Straw or hay used as packing requires a certificate stating that it is free of insects and diseases.

Drugs and pharmaceuticals require a special certificate and two copies of product details are also required.

Descriptive product details for manufacturers will assist clearance and some engineering products will require an inspection certificate.

Methods of quoting and payment

Quotes should be by pro-forma invoice and preferably in US dollars on Cost and Freight Bangladesh port. Freight and insurance components should be separately shown.

Payment for most imports must be made by irrevocable letter of credit (L/C). However, export can be made through cash against documents (CAD) without any L/C in limited cases. Importers must lodge 10 to 100 per cent cash margin on letters of credit.

Payment for capital machinery and industrial raw materials could be made on Document Acceptance (DA) and Deferred Payment (DP) basis.

Payment by sight draft or usance bill is permitted for books, journals and periodicals.

Documentary requirements

No prescribed form, with a minimum of three copies required. The invoice must be signed by the manufacturer or shipper and must indicate the:

  • name and address of both shipper and consignee
  • importer/Consignee VAT registration number
  • date, name of vessel and port of shipment and destination
  • bill of lading number and date
  • marks, numbers, weights, measurements and type of package
  • value of merchandise
  • L/C number and date.

Fax signatures are not acceptable.

Must contain the following affidavit signed by the shipper or his agent and authorised by an approved authority: 'We certify that the goods are in accordance with pro-forma invoice/indent number........, dated.........., and that they are of Australian origin.'

Pro-forma invoice

Five copies are required and a full description of goods, country of origin, gross and net weights and full cost and freight (C&F) value or Free On Board (FOB) plus freight charges.

Bill of lading/Airway bill

Three copies of original bill of lading, no prescribed form, but must show the product name, gross weight, dimensions, invoice details or as specified in the L/C.

All negotiable copies must be endorsed to the order of the bank opening the L/C. All postage parcels must be addressed to the bank opening the L/C and not to the consignee.

Packing list

Not compulsory, but assists clearance.

Certificate of origin

Not compulsory, but may be requested by the consignee or their bank.

Public health requirements

All plants, seeds and livestock require certificates of health issued by an approved authority in the country of origin. In Australia this is usually the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), the Department of Agriculture or the relevant state department of agriculture.

Live animals, animal products, plants and plant products are subject to quarantine regulations.

A radioactivity test report from AQIS and certificate to the effect that the items are fit for human consumption are mandatory for imports of milk, milk foods, milk products, edible oil, other food items and animal feed.

Certificates of analysis may be required for foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.

Drugs and pharmaceuticals require prior registration with the Minister of Health.

Raw and packaging materials for the pharmaceutical industry require Black List approval by the Director of Drug Administration.


Must be arranged by importer with any local insurance company.

Weights and measures

The metric system.