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Bangladesh: BGMEA to Embargo Exports for Factories Without Worker Insurance

Ready-made garment workers in Bangladesh will soon benefit from the added security of insurance as the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has directed its member factories to institute worker insurance or face export embargoes.

According to Bangla Apparel, the country’s central garment sector organization also said it would cancel a facility’s membership for denying insurance.

BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said the organization is prioritizing secure work environments and worker safety, declaiming that the insurance offering is now mandatory.

“Those who are non-compliant with the direction would be spared from all kind of facilities BGMEA provides,” Bangla Apparel reported Islam as saying. He added that the BGMEA would be monitoring insurance implementation closely.

Two of the major services BGMEA provides are issuance of Utilization Declaration, a record of raw materials imported duty free and Utilization Permission, a written consent from Customs mandatory for the sale of duty-free goods.

It isn’t uncommon for factory owners to forego insurance installments in favor of pocketing it for profit, unnamed sources told Bangla Apparel. But any factories opting out of providing the insurance won’t be able to export goods without the necessary documentation BGMEA will withhold.