The ceramics industry has urged the government to impose additional duties on ceramic imports to discourage the importation of such expensive items from overseas.

The Bangladesh Ceramics Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) has called for swift action to help protect the local industry.

Last month, the association filed the request with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in this regard.

BCMEA data shows that 70 industrial units of ceramic tableware, tiles and sanitary ware have been established across the country with domestic and foreign investment involving more than Tk 14,000 crore.

The industry meets 85% of domestic demand for these household items, according to the association.

According to a BCMEA source, finished ceramic tiles, tableware and sanitary ware are imported at an annual value of over Tk 1,346 crore, simply hogging local producers.

To discourage this, the BCMEA has proposed to increase the minimum tariff value, including an additional tax which will also reduce the pressure on the exchange.

If the proposal is accepted, he adds, hard-earned foreign currency will be saved and additional revenue from the wasteful sector will be created.

The domestic market size for ceramic products was estimated at Tk 35,000 crore in 2019, according to the association.

The sector earned $68.97 million from exporting these products in fiscal 2019, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.

Manufacturers ship products to different countries, including the UK, US, and Canada, as well as other European and Latin American countries.