Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Business

How To Buy Goods From Customs Auction?

How To Buy Goods From Customs Auction?

While seized goods by customs authorities may be sold at cheap rates, there are neither any warranties nor any option to return the goods

There are various customs departments located in India in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai. Customs are also operational in various other smaller cities. With significant movement of goods inside the country and across the borders, a number of items are regularly seized by customs authorities. Seizure of goods can happen due to various reasons such as inadequate paperwork, evasion of duty and false declaration. 

Some of the most common items seized by customs authorities include imported cars and bikes, computers, laptops, electronic items and electronics accessories. Owners of these goods are provided adequate time to respond. If they want, they have the option to pay the fine and claim the goods. But if there is no response, such seized goods are put up for customs auctions. 

How to buy goods from a customs auction?

To streamline the process and improve transparency, customs auctions have been centralized. Customs auction is conducted via a single online platform, available at www.mstcecommerce.com. MSTC Limited is a central government Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). It operates an online auction of customs goods as well as various other items. On the MSTC website, there is a separate section for customs auctions. Here is a step-by-step procedure of how to buy goods from a customs auction.

Register on www.mstcecommerce.com – On the home page, you have to select eAuction and then Indian Customs Auction. You will have to register as a bidder, providing all the details such as your name, bank account number, PAN details, address, etc. Once you have provided the information, you will be asked to pay the registration charges. If you plan to bid for only customs goods, the registration fee is Rs 5,000 + service tax and educational cess. You will also be required to submit all the documents in physical format at any of the MSTC offices. Once the paperwork is done, you will be assigned a photo identity card. You then become eligible to buy goods from customs auction. 

Physical inspection – You will be notified in advance when a customs auction will take place. You will be invited to carry out a physical inspection of the goods. This is an important step, as it will determine how much money you are planning to put into the bidding process. You will not be able to return any goods purchased, which is why the inspection process is very important. 

Online bidding – After physical inspection by prospective buyers, the next step is the online bidding process. Customs goods have a reserve price and you need to bid above that price. You can see the last few bids and accordingly raise your bid amount. Autobid option is also available, where the system automatically increases your bid, relative to the other nearest bidder. You can put an upper limit to your bid in the autobid system. 

Successful bid – If your bid is successful, you will be notified via email/SMS. You will have to make the required payment along with applicable taxes and other charges. Once the paperwork is complete, you can collect your customs goods from the notified office. If you fail to make the payment after a successful bid, you will be barred from customs auctions for a minimum period of 6 months. Your registration fees will also be forfeited. 

While buying goods from a customs auction could be profitable, there can be quality issues. It is important that you place your bids carefully. Also, consider factors such as taxes and charges and transportation costs (if any) before placing your bids.

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