The government of Bangladesh has disapproved applications for the importation of motorbikes that are more than 150cc due to police objections. According to authorities, there are safety concerns due to the reluctance of riders to wear safety helmets. This is one of the reasons for the increasing rates of road accidents. Another reason that was forwarded by the police is criminal activity that is carried out with motorbikes.
Last May 15, Motiur Rahman, President of BMAMA (Bangladesh Motorcycle Assemblers and Manufacturers Association) filed an application to the Ministry of Commerce for a permit to import motorbikes over 150cc including their spare parts. According to BMAMA, the motorbike market of Bangladesh is shrinking and the government is losing a significant amount of revenue due to the import ban. The government has an existing import policy than bans 150cc to 165cc motorbikes.
Based on data from National Bureau of Revenue, motorbike imports have decreased from the previous 249,464 units in 2009 to 186,808 in 2012. Import figures have also fallen to less than 150,000 units in the last three years. The Ministry of Home Affairs sent the BMAMA application to the police for their assessment and recommendation. However, on September 21, the police headquarters raised their objections regarding the raising of importation limits to 165cc. If motorcycles with higher configurations are allowed for importation, it will increase safety issues.
According to Import Policy Order SRO-411, importation of motorbikes above 155cc and used for over 3 years is not allowed in Bangladesh. The police department has actually been using 150cc motorbikes for operational purposes but to allow the citizens to use the motorbike with the high configuration may deteriorate the law enforcing situation. Bangladesh police believes that motorbikes with high configurations will result into an increase in accidents because unlike other countries motorbike riders in Bangladesh are reluctant to wear helmets.
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