Lebanon Auctions Cars in Effort to Raise Money

From Al Bawaba:


Public Sector Employees Go on Strike in Lebanon, Protesting Possible Wage Cutsese Customs is holding its second auction of abandoned goods at Beirut Port in an effort to “raise money for the state,” agency head Badri Daher said Sunday.

The auction, which will run until 1 p.m., is expected to raise up to LL700 million ($460,000) Daher told local news channel LBCI. He predicted, however, that future auctions would make much more money, as the customs-run actions “are in the trial phase.”

While this auction will exclusively auction off abandoned vehicles, a previous round of bidding in April offered potential buyers a wide array of items, including household tools, printers, furniture and clothing. It reportedly made some $840,000 in profits.

Items become the property of Customs if they go unclaimed for three months at the Beirut airport or land borders, or for six months at the port. According to Article 437 of the Lebanese Customs Law, these goods must be auctioned duty-free and paid for in cash. Items prohibited from sale are weapons, explosives, ammunition and drugs not approved by the Health Ministry.

Daher described the auction as “a national act” as it would help contribute to the economy, and said he hoped that auctions, set to be held every one to two months, would clear 100,000 square meters of space at the port “wasted” by unclaimed goods.

He said that the authority had decided to hold the bidding on a Sunday, rather than a weekday, after social media users complained that they could not attend the previous auction, held on a Thursday, due to work restrictions.



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