Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has relaxed the foreign exchange regulations relating to advance payment against imports, particularly by exporters, officials said on Monday.

An exporting firm will be allowed to send a maximum of US$ 10,000 instead of $5,000 without any bank guarantee against a bonafide business purpose using their own Exporter’s Retention Quota (ERQ), according to the amended regulations.

“We’ve relaxed such regulations aiming to facilitate business activities, particularly in foreign trade,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said, adding that the central bank’s latest move was to help the country’s exporters to expedite their businesses.

Exporters welcomed the BB’s latest move, saying that such amendment would be able to bring a positive impact on the country’s foreign trade particularly export.

“It’s a good step of the BB that would facilitate the country’s overall export performance,” President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Abdus Salam Murshedy said, adding that the amended regulations will help to reduce both time and cost of export.

The central bank of Bangladesh issued a circular in this connection Monday and asked the commercial banks to follow the new instruction relating to advance payment against imports properly.

Currently, merchandise exporters are entitled to a foreign exchange retention quota of a certain portion of repatriated FOB (free on board) of their export.

Foreign exchange out of the retention quota may be maintained in foreign currency accounts with the concerned commercial banks in US dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro or Japanese Yen upon realization of the export proceeds.

“Balance of these accounts may be used by the exporters for bonafide business purposes, such as business visits aboard, participation in export fairs and seminars, establishment and maintenance of office aboard, import of raw materials, machineries and spares without prior approval of the BB,” the central bank said in its existing foreign transactions regulations.

Regarding advance payment against imports, the commercial banks concerned shall, on their own responsibility, have to arrange for repatriation of the remittance made in advance, in case the entry of goods into the country is not affected within the stipulated time, according to the foreign exchange transactions regulations.

While opening a back-to-back letter of credit (LC), the banks should adjust the value of advance payment to ensure the value addition requirement as stipulated in the import policy order (IPO) is not breached, it said, adding that before the advance payment, an authorized dealer (AD) bank must obtain a form of undertaking duly signed by the importer.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-01September09-1:28 am (BST)