An association of second-hand or used clothes importers has requested the government to extend the time frame to import such clothes, officials said.
It has recently sent a letter to commerce secretary, seeking an extension of time for completion of application submissions and other processes, they added.
Importers said five to six months are required to collect used clothes by an exporter country. Forty days are needed for the consignment to enter Bangladesh.
It takes two or three months to complete the application process of importing such outfits, they added.
According to the WHO, the association explained, used clothes do not carry coronavirus.
Exporters ship second-hand clothes after ensuring that they are free from all toxic and hazardous substances.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a good number of importers are yet to complete the application procedure, they also mentioned.
Traders and importers said the import volume of used clothes has been increasing gradually over the years due to the growing domestic demand.
Second-hand clothes are mainly used in winter and fixed and low-income people mostly buy such warm clothes at affordable prices, they added.
As many as 5,000 traders in Bangladesh will get an opportunity to import second-hand clothes in the just-concluded fiscal year, officials said.
They will be chosen on the basis of population density in each district and through a lottery to be arranged by the deputy commissioners concerned, they added.
Each trader can import used clothes worth Tk 50,000 and they must submit documents certifying that the consignments are free from toxicity, said the Office of Chief Controller of Imports and Exports (CCIE).
The office issued a public notification in this connection on February 06.
Importers can bring in only six types of products-cardigan, sweater, zipper jacket, trousers, blanket, and synthetic and blended shirts.
The authorities concerned will take tough action against those who will import clothing items other than the specified types of clothes, a source said.
Action will also be taken against the bank concerned that would issue a letter of credit (LC) for import of clothes not mentioned in the list, the source added.
Each trader can import two tonnes of blanket, and synthetic and blended shirts each, and six tonnes of sweater, cardigan, gents' jacket and trousers (male) each, according to the circular.
For importing such clothes, the traders were supposed to apply to the deputy commissioners by March 29.
The deadline for opening LCs was May 31. They have to complete the shipment of clothes by August 31.
A total of 401 importers will be selected from the Dhaka region, including the capital.
Other importers will be picked from Chattogram, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, Barishal, Mymensingh and Rangpur divisions, according to the office of the CCIE.