Mongla Custom House is set to auction off 115 cars of various brands which were not discharged from the port within the stipulated time after import.
Interested buyers will be able to bid online for the auction scheduled to be held on 7 August.
Abu Basher Siddiqui, revenue officer (auction wing) of the Mongla Custom House, said, "Aspirant buyers will have the opportunity to go to Mongla port on 1-2 August to see the auctioned cars. Toyota Hiace, Toyota Noah, Toyota Allion, Toyota Prado, Nissan, and other brands of cars along with 10 other imported products are up for auction. Price proposals of this auction will be accepted from 9 am on 5 August to 5 pm on 7 August."
He said, "As per the rules, concerned people have to discharge their cars imported through Mongla port within 30 days, but they have not done so. Thus, all those cars are being auctioned off gradually."
After receiving bids from the auction participants, a list of the highest bidders will be published and the cars will be conveyed to them, the revenue officer said.
Abu Basar Siddiqui said, "Bidders can participate in this year's auction online for the first time. Buyers have to go to the online auction website of Bangladesh Customs and click on the Mongla Custom House section to get the auction list."
Expressing his discontent about the auction, Ahsanur Rahman Arju, chairman of the Standing Committee on the Mongla Port Affairs at the Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida), said "The government agencies and banks have stopped buying cars amid the ongoing global recession. Multinational companies are also not buying cars now."
"In this situation, the Custom House's auction has created another additional pressure for us. We have repeatedly requested the authorities not to hold the auction at this time but they did not listen," he added.
Car import through Mongla port began on 3 June 2009. Haq's Bay Automobiles Ltd imported 255 reconditioned (used) cars through this port in the first shipment.
"A total of 34,783 cars were imported through the country's sea ports in the last fiscal year. Among them, 20,808 cars were imported through Mongla port, which is 60% of the total imported cars," said Md Makruzzaman, deputy secretary (Board and Public Relations Department) of the Mongla Port.
Mohammad Neazur Rahman, the commissioner of Mongla Custom House, said, "Around 52% of the total revenue of Mongla Custom comes from the duty of imported cars. If imported cars are lying at the port for a long time, it creates a problem for the storage of other goods."
"If the auction process continues, it will facilitate traders to keep cars or other products at the port. Moreover, timely revenue collection will be ensured," the commissioner added.