The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has issued a directive to not auction but turn over to various government and non-government organizations, nine types of impounded goods that are illegal, prohibited, or imported under false declaration.
Issued on 4 September, the directive provided for two methods – auction and sale, or transfer – to be used for dealing with goods seized by Customs.
As per the new rules, confiscated perishable products such as soybean oil, sugar, salt, and lentils should be sold to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), while smuggled goods that are seized have to be deposited in the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
Seized yarn would go to the Bangladesh Handloom Board (BHB) to later be allotted at a reserved price for weavers registered with the board.
Gold, silver, platinum or similar metals, diamonds and jewellery, and foreign currency including US dollars, should be permanently handed over to Bangladesh Bank.
Similarly, explosives, firearms and ammunition are to be handed over to the military or law enforcement agencies based on the counsel of concerned authorities.
Impounded liquor, alcohol products, and cigarettes, must be sold to tourism corporations or diplomatic bonded institutions.
Seized artefacts must go to a museum or government office, and raw materials for drugs should be given to the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) or a state-owned drug company, subject to the approval of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA).
Apart from this, seized animals or animal remains can be sold or handed over free of charge to relevant government or autonomous bodies.
Any product other than the aforementioned ones may be auctioned if seized by Customs.
However, garment products like saree, lungi, three-piece suits, and blankets, can be auctioned if the prime minister's relief fund does not want them.
Different types of seized goods - if illegal, brought under false declaration, or not withdrawn – are regularly auctioned by customs to dispose of them.
The new rules have been issued in the context of many perishable goods confiscated by customs going to waste in containers, due to an auction process oftentimes prolonged for various reasons.