The Import Policy Order is the primary legislative tool governing customs tariffs. Tariffs are a significant source of government revenue, which greatly complicates efforts to lower tariff rates.
Bangladesh levies tariffs at four primary levels of imported goods and publishes the applied rates on the Bangladesh Customs website at https://customs.gov.bd/. Generators, information technology equipment, raw cotton, textile machinery, certain types of machinery used in irrigation and agriculture, animal feed for the poultry industry, certain drugs and medical equipment, and raw materials imported for use in specific industries are generally exempt from tariffs. Samples in reasonable quantities can be carried by passengers during travel and are not subject to tariffs; however, samples are subject to tariffs if sent by courier.
The average Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rate is 14.0 percent, with average rates for agricultural products higher than for industrial goods. The maximum MFN applied rate is 25 percent. Products subject to rates of from 5 to 25 percent include general input items, basic raw materials, and intermediate and finished goods. Bangladesh provides concessions for the import of capital machinery and equipment, as well as for specified inputs and parts, which makes determinations of tariff rates a complex and non-transparent process. Other charges applicable to imports are an advance income tax of 5 percent; a value-added tax of zero to 15 percent, with exemptions for input materials previously mentioned; and a supplementary duty of zero to 500 percent, which applies to luxury items such as cigarettes, alcohol, and perfume.
Bangladesh has abolished excise duties on all locally produced goods and services, with certain exceptions. For example, services rendered by banks or financial institutions are subject to a tax on each savings, current, loan, or other account with balances above defined levels, and certain taxes apply to airline tickets.