The National Board of Revenue is going to make the electronic export mechanism, also known as e-EXP, mandatory for all exporters from December 26. Under the system, customs officials will check the authenticity of the export permit form (EXP) issued by banks in favour of exporters with information provided in the bill of export through its automated Asycuda World System. Customs officials will not process the bill of export if the exporters do not provide EXP information in the bill of export, said an order issued by the NBR on December 7. Officials said that the NBR took the initiative to make the export system fully automated and check the incidences of fake export by using fake EXP. Under the e-EXP mechanism, Bangladesh Bank will directly upload the EXP issued by commercial banks in favour of exporters for every export consignment on the online system of the revenue board, Asycuda World System. ‘No bill of export will be processed without 6-digit EXP number and date of issuance as providing the information in the bill of export is mandatory,’ said the order signed by NBR member (customs policy) Farid Uddin. It also asked the commissioners of six customs houses, nine customs stations, nine off-docks and airfreight units of the Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport to take necessary steps to implement the order. According to the order, the NBR has introduced Asycuda World System at the customs houses as part of making customs procedures automated. Under the system, export- and import-related data are checked online for customs purpose. The BB has already started real-time upload of EXP on the NBR system, it said. Officials said that the customs offices would complete pilot programme of e-EXP activities by December 26 for mandatory use of e-EXP system. They said that under the system exporters would have to include 6-digit EXP number and date of EXP issuance in the electronic bill of export for synchronisation in the Asycuda World System. Asycuda World System will detect the mismatch, if there is any, in the EXP or bill of export, they said. They said that there were many cases of use of fake EXP by dishonest businesses, which they (businesses) did for laundering money, whitening black money and receiving cash incentives from the government. It is not possible for the customs officials to check all the hard copies of EXP and bill of export to prevent use of fake EXP. Currently, exporters can submit either e-EXP or hard copy of the document. EXP certifies an exporter that he has made an agreement with the bank concerned for realisation of export proceeds of goods within four months from the date of shipment. In this regard, the bank undertakes to ensure the repatriation of the export proceeds against the shipment. EXP also contains information related to the commodity to be exported, country of destination, port of destination, quality, quantity, value, terms of sales and names and addresses of importer and exporter. The NBR has been trying to introduce e-EXP since 2014 but could not due to various problems including failure of the BB in uploading EXP on real-time basis and opposition of exporters mainly those from the readymade garment sector.