Insight: Unclear terms in Customs e-auction may cause many bidders to lose their cars
Many Nigerians see the recently launched e-auction by the Nigerian Customs Service as an easy and cheap means of acquiring a car.
However, what many of these Nigerians are not aware of is the implication of some of the terms and conditions of the electronic sales.
For instance, number 8 in the terms and condition of the sales states: “Take note for overtime cargo, that the successful bidder shall in addition pay 25% charges for Shipping Line and Terminal operators respectively.
Among the terms and conditions on the site, number 8 was the only one that the Nigerian Customs Service emboldened to lay emphasis.
A staff of the service who spoke to our correspondent explained that many of the cars up for auction had over stayed at the terminals and as such attracted overtime charges.
He explained that most of them have already incurred overtime charges while also still owing the shipping line that brought in the vehicles.
“So for some of these overtime cargo the person who wins the car shall pay in addition 25 oer cent of his bid as overtime cargo and another 25 per cent as cost of shipping.
“If someone wins a bid at N100,000 it means that the person will pay an additional N25,000 for overtime cargo and N25,000 for the shipping line,” he said.
He added that all the cars up for auction had already attracted overtime cargo charges stressing that the shipping cost on most of them had yet to be paid for since such payment are usually made at the point of clearing.
Our correspondent who took time to speak with a cross section of Nigerians reports that many of them were unaware of the implications of this and other conditions stipulated in the e-auction.
A civil servant Mrs Taiye Edeni admitted that she was unaware of the implication of that provision.
She said: “If that is so then i will review my Budget”.
A business man Abraham Alfred however said that he would forget about the bidding it it is so as he was not cut out for any extra expenses after winning.
He said he already planned to bid with all he has leaving only ample money to travel to the terminal to retrieve his vehicle.
Other respondents who spoke also admitted to not knowing the real implication of the terms and conditions stipulated by the NIS.
The terms and conditions giver a successful bidder only two weeks to move the cars they have won out of the terminal.
This means that they should have paid the full bid price and 25 per cent each of bid amount for overtime cargo charges and for shipping line.
It further stated that failure to clear the cars within two weeks it will revert to its pre-bidding status.
“The successful Bidder has two (2) weeks from the date of payment to remove the item bidded for or forfeit same at the expiration of the two (2) weeks.
“Any auction item not removed from the warehouse within fourteen (14) days from the date of payment shall revert to its pre-bidding status.
Below are the terms and conditions of the e-auction.
- Applicant must have a valid TIN issued by FIRS with an active e-mail account.
- An Applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of One Thousand Naira (₦1,000) as administrative.
- An Item is auctioned “as is” as such request for replacement or refund shall not be entertained.
- The successful bidder shall make payment within five (5) working days.
- Failure to pay within five (5) working days, the item reverts to the second (2nd) highest bidder.
- The successful Bidder has two (2) weeks from the date of payment to remove the item bidded for or forfeit same at the expiration of the two (2) weeks.
- Any auction item not removed from the warehouse within fourteen (14) days from the date of payment shall revert to its pre-bidding status.
- Take note for overtime cargo, that the successful bidder shall in addition pay 25% charges for Shipping Line and Terminal operators respectively.
- Bidders shall not be allowed to bid for more than 2 items per bidding window.
- For claiming items, the winner shall present;
- a) A valid copy of paid assessment and bank receipt (optional in case of e-payment);
- b) A notarized letter in case owner sends representative. (Where owner is present uploaded photo on registration will do.);
- c) Provide proper identification with notarized letter and International passport, Driver's license, Voters card or National I.D.
- The dwell time for this Online Auction Sale shall be Forty-eight (48) hours.
- Third party claims shall not be entertained.
- Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service are excluded from participating this Auction.
- Owner of seized item is excluded from bidding for the same.
- Owner of overtime item with evidence of payment of duty and other charges has priority over a successful bidder of the same provided the item has not been exited out of the Customs control.
- Conditions and Terms of this auction are to be carefully considered by an interested person before acceptance. Credit: NAN