Customs has a detailed auction procedure to dispose of imported goods, which are – (a) not cleared within the time limit allowed under the Customs Act, 1969, or (b) remain unclaimed. Goods whose import is prohibited, e.g. motor vehicles of more than four years’ old, old computers, old motor parts etc., may also be sold through auction with prior permission from the Ministry of Commerce.
Goods are auctioned off following the authority given in section 82 of the Customs Act. Proceeds from the auction are distributed to the relevant parties as per the provisions under section 201 of the Customs Act.
To download the NBR Office Order detailing the procedures for auctioning such goods, click here.
Due notice is given to the owner before goods are put up for auction. Goods are sold through auction under the order of the appropriate officer, usually the Commissioner. It is customary to have an auction committee in each customs station/house. This committee proposes reserve value of lots earmarked for auction. Customs can auction imported goods if the same are not cleared within 30 days from the date of unloading at a customs port or a land customs station or a Customs ICD or within 21 days from the date of unloading at a customs airport or within the extended period as may be allowed by the appropriate officer.
Animals, perishable goods and hazardous goods may, with the permission of the appropriate officer, be sold through auction at any time. Arms, ammunition or military stores may be sold or otherwise disposed of at such time and place and in such manner as the Board may, with the approval of the Government, direct. Usually, seized and confiscated explosives, arms and ammunitions are handed over to Bangladesh Army or to any other agency nominated by the government.
Gold, silver, precious metals, domestic and foreign currency confiscated to the state shall be deposited to Bangladesh Bank instead of selling through auction. Some items, such as seized and confiscated cotton/synthetic/silk sarees and sarees made of artificial filament are deposited to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
At Dhaka, Chittagong and Benapole Custom Houses, an auctioneer is appointed to assist Customs in completing activities relating to auction such as advertisement for auction, preparation of catalogues for auction and making provisions for tender drop-boxes at multiple locations etc.
Where goods are sold through auction pending adjudication, appeal, revision or decision of a Court, proceeds of such sale shall be deposited to the Government treasury. Subsequently, if the Court finds that the goods so sold are not liable for confiscation, sales proceeds shall, after necessary deduction of duties, taxes or dues, be refunded to the owner.
When the goods concerned involves a Court case, Customs will have to retain samples so that the same can be produced before the Court if it so desires.