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Home Port News Increased auctions free Chittagong box yard and increase customs authority revenue

Increased auctions free Chittagong box yard and increase customs authority revenue

The Chittagong Port Authority and the Chittagong Customs have intensified efforts for auctioning cargoes regularly to free space at port yards and also to free containers from being occupied for long period.

Each month at least two auctions are held during the last couple of months to create pressure on the importers to take delivery of containers on time.

After certain days of landing containers from vessels, the port authority sends those to the customs for auction unless the importers take delivery of boxes or seek time. Then the customs authority arrange an auction after the completion of necessary procedures.

On 26 August, some 87 lots of cargoes were put on auction at Chittagong port’s auction yard. Last time on 12 August some 76 lots of cargoes were also put on auction.

Fakhrul Alam, a commissioner of Chittagong Customs House, said it is a special crash programme to make free the spaces at the port yards.

He noted during the last four months such increased numbers of auctions were taking place with each month at least two and sometimes three, compared to the usual one in a month.

“The reason is there were huge undelivered boxes at port yards,” he added. “We are trying to implement the concerned rules of the customs act to lower congestions at port yards.”

The rule is unless the importers take delivery of cargoes on time, those have to be sold in an auction.

Alam claimed even after the port authority sends containers to the auction unit, the importers can take delivery until the auction is held, by paying duty and taxes.

Presently 7,045 containers are lying at the auction unit of the Chittagong port waiting for auction.

Port users say if the pace of auctions can be continued for a year, discipline will be restored in the release of cargoes, while this will help Chittagong port yards to be freed from container congestions and the customs authority will be able to raise revenue collection.

Shipping agents applauded the measure since auctions help them to get the containers quickly for reuse.

An official of a Chittagong-based shipping agent said Bangladeshi shippers always experience crisis of actual sized equipment for exporting goods, especially the 40 feet boxes.

“If a good number of containers remain stuck at port’s auction unit for months, the equipment shortage deepens,” he pointed out and went on to add, “Besides, despite the boxes remain occupied for months, we can not charge rent as the importers abandoned their goods at the port yards.”

Sharar Nayel
Bangladesh Correspondent

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