Management of unclaimed goods.
1 - Where imported goods that are placed in a temporary storage facility (Transit Shed) under customs control are unclaimed goods, i.e. goods for which a declaration has not been submitted within the relevant period as stipulated in Sec 38 (1) (13) of the Customs Act #20 of 2010:
- In the case of goods imported by sea, a period of 14 days from importation;
- In the case of goods imported by air, a period of 7 days from importation;
2 - Where imported goods are stored in a customs bonded warehouse that have exceeded the time frames provided for the temporary storage in respect of the customs bonded warehouse in keeping with Sec 69 of the Customs Act;
3 – Where Goods sent by mail which have been refused by the receiver, or the addressee cannot be found, and the goods cannot be returned to the sender; and
4 – Where the owner of imported goods abandons the means of transportation without any restriction which are at the customs clearance area;
the Comptroller of Customs shall make an inventory of the unclaimed goods, and the goods shall be transferred to the Queens Warehouse at the Deep Water Harbour in preparation for sale by public auction or otherwise to be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Act.
The Comptroller shall publish, in the Gazette, and in such other medium and method as the Comptroller considers appropriate, a notice requiring the owner of the goods to claim the goods, within seven days to one month from the date of the publication of the notice. (Sec 200 (2) of the Customs Act)
The notice referred to shall contain—
(a) The description and location of the goods;
(b) The date after which the goods will be disposed of through public auction; and
(c) The contact particulars of the customs office responsible for control of the goods.
This seven days to one month window gives a reasonable timeframe to inform the owner of the goods that the goods are considered as unclaimed goods and shall be sold at public auction.
The Comptroller shall sell any goods which are of a perishable nature in such manner as appears to him most likely to realize the largest sum (Sec 200 (6) of the Customs Act)
NB - All expenses incurred while unclaimed goods are under customs control shall be borne by the owner of the unclaimed goods.
CUSTOMS & EXCISE DIVISION
Public Auction Rules
- All bidders must meet the Auctioneer’s qualifications to bid. Any bidder who is not a customer in good standing with the auctioneer may be disqualified and will not be allowed to participate in the auction. The Auctioneer reserves the right to disqualify any bidder even after the close of the auction.
- To bid on an item, attract the attention of the auctioneer by raising your hand and voice at the appropriate time as high as you can to out - bid the last bidder
- Each bid legally obligates the bidder to pay the bid price in full if his or her bid is deemed final at the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer or at the end of the auctioneer’s count. (Default in payment or refusal to pay the price in full constitutes an offense which may result in financial penalties).
- The auction will be fast paced and bids must be made quickly.
- Bidding is closed only by the auctioneer.
- The auctioneer is the only party allowed to determine that a bid has been placed. If the auctioneer misses a bid, the missed party has no right to have the bid reinstated.
- Decisions of the auctioneer are final.
- All items are generally sold "as is," without guarantee made to their value, function or genuineness.
- Most items offered at the auction are given an estimated value by the auctioneer. This valuation is only an estimate and is not a guarantee of the object's resale value or its worth.
- Once an object has been legally transferred over to the winning bidder, the auctioneer ceases to hold any liability over the object. Any damages incurred due to its use or misuse is not the auctioneer’s responsibility.
- Although items may be listed on auction list as being available for bidding, the auctioneer reserves the right to remove items from bidding at any time, for any reason.
- All items successfully purchased must be removed by the winning bidder within a time period set out beforehand by the auctioneer. The expenses incurred in moving the items are the winning bidder's alone.
- You Must Pay Immediately
The Customs Auctioneer requires that winning bidders pay all or part of the winning bid immediately after the auction. Failure to do so may result in financial penalties or the forfeiture of the item.
- The Customs Auctioneer Has Final Say
All disputes over matters related to bidding are referred to the auctioneer, who has final say.