Custom House, Chattogram is to launch e-auctions on October 27 to make the auction of goods not received by importers more transparent and modern.
The customs authorities will henceforth hold all auctions this way if bidders get accustomed to e-auctions, versus conventional auctions.
Khondaker Muhammad Aminur Rahman, member (customs audit, modernisation and international trade) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), will officially inaugurate the e-auction software at midday on October 27.
Under the new system, bidders will be able to submit tenders by clicking on the e-auction link on the NBR website from midday on October 27 to 5pm on October 28.
Md Faisal Bin Rahman, deputy commissioner of the Auction Department at Chattogram Custom House, told The Business Standard each lot would have one type of product in the inaugural e-auction.
He said bidders would be able to submit tenders and related documents from home as per the catalogues.
"In this way, auctions can be completed in a short time," said Faisal.
He said in addition to launching the e-auction software on October 27, conventional auctions will be held on October 29.
The customs authorities have taken various steps to inaugurate the e-auction format. A workshop will be held in the conference room of Chattogram Custom House on October 22 to give bidders hands-on training in submitting tenders and other documents.
Iqbal Hossain, proprietor of R & H Syndicate and a top auction goods trader at Chattogram Custom House, told The Business Standard that though e-auction is a modern process, many bidders are still not familiar with the format.
Therefore, customs authorities need to organize more trainings and expand promotion, he said.
Sources said the e-auction format was scheduled to be inaugurated in July last year, but several glitches, followed by the coronavirus outbreak, caused its deferral.
Goods imported by ships from different countries need to be received within 30 days after the vessels are docked. If an importer does not receive the goods in the stipulated time, the customs authorities send him a notice.
The customs authorities can put the goods up for auction if the importer does not receive them within 15 days of the dispatch of the notice.
Seized goods imported under false declarations can also be auctioned.
Chattogram Custom House holds auctions once a month.