Close on heels of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) issuing letters to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to stop providing the Utilisation Declarations (UDs) for export and import to 189 member factories due to noncompliance in fixing safety faults, the BGMEA has cut the right of 84 garment factories to duty-free import of fabrics and suspended the units’ UDs, which is a certification determining how much inputs and packaging materials will be used by a factory in manufacturing exportable products.
“Another 54 member factories have been given time to show progress so that they can continue availing their certification as their business record is better than that of the 84,” reportedly maintained BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq.
She further added “The managements of the 54 were asked to attend a BGMEA meeting this month to inform of their current compliance and safety standards before taking any upgradation measures.”
Dr. Rubana also said that there are another 35 factories which closed on failing to generate business, for which they need not face the suspension.
It may be mentioned here that the DIFE had earlier sent a letter to the BGMEA requesting it to stop providing the UDs to 143 member factories for 3 months as the authorities of the units had failed to start safety remediation works.
Earlier on 29 December 2019, the department sent another letter to the BKMEA asking it to stop providing the UDs to 46 member factories over noncompliance.
As per the DIFE letter, a total of 1,549 RMG factories were inspected under the national initiative from 2014 to 2015 and were asked to undertake the necessary structural, electrical and fire safety remediation works.
But the factories are yet to take any initiative to start safety remediation works and have not yet submitted the drawings and designs for such works to the DIFE, the letters underlined.