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Customs to commence online auction of seized goods


Only Tax Payers Will Participate
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said only tax payers with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) issued Tax Identification Number (TIN) would be eligible to participate in a new auction sales of seized items.

This is part of the guidelines in a new e-auction portal to be deployed for the disposing of seized goods that have undergone the process of court condemnation.

The portal would require applicants to input their recent passport photographs with a payment of non-refundable administrative fee of N1000.

The new e-auction portal for the sales of seized items at Customs Commands across the country is expected to reduce congestion in the various government warehouses and increase revenue from the sales.

Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) introduced the process as a way of enhancing transparency, reducing human contacts and ensuring that only the highest bidders for any auctioned item takes it.

Aside the TIN by prospective bidders, other terms and conditions include exclusion of customs officers and their families from participating in the bidding process either directly or indirectly.

The guidelines also indicate that auctioned items cannot be replaced or funds paid refunded to the bidders. Successful bidders are expected to make payments within five working days as auctioned items whose winners fail to pay within the period would forfeit the auctioned item to the second highest bidder.

Successful bidders will be given a period of 14 days from the date of payment to remove the item bidded for or forfeit it at expiration of the period.

Any auctioned item not removed from the warehouse within 14 days from the date of payment shall revert to its pre-bidding status which makes such item open for sale again.

Winners in the auction process are also expected to pay 25% of the auction amount to the Terminal Operator with another 25% of the auction amount to the shipping line operator.

Confirming the development, Customs spokesman, Joseph Attah said Ali took time to entrench the new method that requires deploying of ICT to avoid human contact and influences. He said apart from increase of revenue for government, the online platform would ensure integrity of the process.

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