Ali releases guidelines on auction of seized goods

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As part of efforts to reduce the increasing cases of fraudsters’ using online platforms in posing like Customs officers to defraud Nigerians wishing to buy seized and auctioned goods, the Nigeria Customs Service has approved a new procedure for the disposal of seized and overtime goods.
Even though the release is coming at a belated date, the Service said the new guidelines are part of efforts to address some of the perceived irregularities relating to the system, including fake online auctions.
The NCS has set up four committees to handle the disposal of these categories of goods. The committees are those on assessment, disposal, seizure and overtime.
According to the new guidelines signed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hammed Ali, perishable items with or without defendants are to be properly disposed of by the relevant committee.
For general goods, the guidelines state that these are to be disposed of after condemnation by a competent court of law, adding, “Condemnation shall be done after 30 days of seizure, so far as there is no notice of claim or litigation.”
The guidelines also stipulate that all overtime cargos are to be published in the Federal Government’s gazette when they fall due after 30 days.
Under the new dispensation, the NCS will advertise information on seized and overtime goods for disposal with their reserve prices in the media and on its official website.
The NCS boss enjoined interested buyers to apply online, specifying items of interest to the committee on disposal, adding that applications must be accompanied with approved means of identification such as a national identity card, passport or driving licence, in addition to a recent passport photograph scanned onto the dedicated portal on the website.
The guidelines further explained that successful applicants would be required to make payment within 14 days of notification through designated banks at the area commands where the goods were domiciled.
According to the guidelines, any returns on disposals will need to be rendered to the comptroller-general not later than 21 days after completion of each exercise.
The NCS, however, pointed out that the disposal committee, subject to the approval of the comptroller-general, might use its discretion in handling peculiar cases.
The assessment committee shall consist of not less than five officers of high integrity, including valuation officers at all area commands supervised by the zonal coordinator, who shall undertake inspection, collation and fixing of prices of all goods on monthly basis, and is to forward its report to the auction committee.

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