The National Port Authority (NPA) in collaboration with APM Terminals and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has auctioned phase two of abandoned cargoes through competitive sealed bids.
The phase two auction included several abandoned vehicles and personal effects that were brought in the country by individuals and business entities.
Due to failure on the part of the importers to meet up with their storage payments to the Port, an auction was held to dispose of the items and free up storage space.
The exercise, which took place last Saturday, September 5 at the head office of the port, brought together several business people and individuals who applied for them through sealed bids advertised in the local dailies.
It can be recalled that recently, the NPA and its partners auctioned several abandoned cargoes at the port.
The executive director for Government and International Affairs at the Free Port of Monrovia, Sekou Korleh, said before they came up with the auctions, the port granted importers of the cargoes additional working days to have their cargoes cleared with all pertinent shipping documents presented and storage bills paid.
For those items that remained unclaimed by their respective owners, the port management decided to auction them to the public through sealed bids.
He indicated that the auction of the items were due to failure on the part of the importers to meet up with their storage payments for these entities.
“Further delays in clearance will lead to accumulation of customs duties, storage and warehouse rent charges,” said Mr. Korleh. “Prolonged stay may lead to the goods being deemed abandoned to be disposed of through auction to create space for incoming cargo.”
He said the entire process was followed in sequence where bidders bought the auction booklets and marked the items they were interested in.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, some of the bidders said that it is worrying that people spend lots of money to ship their consignments to Liberia, but cannot clear them from the port due to huge taxes imposed on them.
“We are not happy buying our friends goods but expressed satisfaction over the bidding process,” said Brima Sheriff, one of the bidders.
Mr. Sheriff further suggested to government to reduce the taxes for ordinary Liberians who are trying to promote the economy of the country.
According to him, “if that is done most Liberians that are in America and other parts of the world will bring in more goods in the country.”