The online auction will remove the need for physical presence, and is therefore expected to draw more bidders
The Chittagong Customs House (CCH) is set to hold an online auction for the first time on Tuesday in a bid to ease the auction process, ensure transparency and draw more bidders.
Some 547 tons of undelivered goods including knit fabrics, cotton fabrics, plastic hanger, scrap, dates, stitch denim fabrics, fresh garlic, polar fleece fabrics, iron pipes and cyanoacrylates (fast-acting adhesive) have been enlisted for the auction.
Most of the items were imported through the Chittagong port between 2010 and 2018. The items are on auction because the importers did not take the delivery of their consignments on time.
According to Bangladesh Customs, importers must take delivery of their consignment within 30 days from the day that goods are unloaded from ships to the port jetty. If an importer fails to receive and remove the consignment within that time, customs authorities are required to issue a notice to the importer. If the importer still does not take delivery within 15 days of notification, the goods are auctioned off.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, CCH Deputy Commissioner (Auction) Md Faisal Bin Rahman said that the CCH has taken all necessary preparations to hold its first e-auction on Tuesday.
Most bidders from outside of Chittagong usually do not show interest in participating in auctions due to the need to be physically present at the event. The online auction will remove the need for physical presence, and is therefore expected to draw more bidders.
Bidders will have to submit documents and place their offers using an e-auction link on the Bangladesh Customs' website, said the customs official.
“Undelivered goods take up valuable space at the port. Auctioning off undelivered goods on a regular basis helps keep port operations smooth,” said Omar Faruk, secretary to Chittagong Port Authority (CPA).
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) undertook the initiative of introducing the automated auction system for all customs houses under the Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity project in 2015.
The first e-auction took place in Benapole Customs House in 2019.