Provisions Relating to Seizure, Forfeiture and Auction of Goods
44. Power to seize goods liable to be forfeited : The Customs Officer or the employee of the Customs Office authorized by him or her or the employee authorized by the Government of Nepal may, if he or she sees or finds any goods liable to be forfeited pursuant to this Act, seize such goods at any place and time.
45. Proof of seizure to be provided : The Customs Officer or the employee who seizes goods pursuant to Section 44 shall provide a proof indicating the reason for so seizing the goods and an inventory setting out the details of goods so seized to the owner of such goods within a maximum of three days after the seizure of such goods.
46. Handing over of goods :
(1) Any employee of the Customs Office or other body shall promptly hand over the goods seized by that employee or body pursuant to Section 44 and a copy of the inventory referred to in Section 45 to the Customs Officer in accordance with this Act.
(2) After the goods have been handed over pursuant to sub- section (1), the Customs Officer shall inquire into whether such goods are liable to be seized under this Act. If, upon such inquiry, it appears either that such goods have been seized for no reason or that it is not necessary to seize such goods, the Customs Officer shall immediately return such goods to the owner thereof.
(3) If, upon making inquiry pursuant to Sub-section (2), it appears that the goods are liable to be seized, the Customs Officer shall take action as referred to in this Act in relation to such goods.
47. Ownership of goods seized and not cleared from customs belonging to Government of Nepal :
(1) Any goods which are seized under this Act shall belong to the Government of Nepal.
(2) The owner of goods concerned shall take delivery of the goods held in customs within the prescribed period.
(3) The concerned Customs Office shall publish a seven-day public notice for taking delivery of the goods which have not been cleared within the period referred to in Sub-section (2).
(4) If, after the publication of the notice referred to in sub- section (3), the owner of goods concerned makes an application, accompanied by a reasonable ground for not being able to clear the goods within the period referred to in Sub-section (2), to the Customs Office and such reason appears to be reasonable, the Customs Officer may, by
collecting the chargeable duty, permit the owner to clear such goods.
(5) The concerned Customs Officer shall forfeit the goods not cleared from the Customs Office even upon the publication of the notice as referred to in Sub-section (3). Such goods shall belong to the Government of Nepal.
48. Notice of forfeiture to be given : Where any goods are forfeited pursuant to this Act, the Customs Officer shall give information thereof to the concerned exporter or importer.
49. Goods to be forfeited : If a decision is made to forfeit any goods pursuant to this Act, the following goods related with such goods shall also be forfeited:
(a) Parcels, packets or containers to pack or transport such goods,
(b) All kinds of motor vehicles including, rickshaws, carts and animals, other than trains and aircrafts, used to transport such goods,
(c) Clothes, furniture, electronic goods and other materials held in motor vehicles referred to in clause (b).
50. Power to auction :
(1) Except where the Government of Nepal has itself used any goods which have been forfeited pursuant to this Act, the concerned Customs Officer may auction such goods as prescribed.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section
(1), provisions relating to the auction of the gold, silver or bullions which have been forfeited and devolved on the Government of Nepal because of failure to clear them from the Customs Office or those goods which have been so forfeited and devolved and can be sold only after obtaining permission pursuant to the prevailing laws and other provisions pertaining thereto shall be as prescribed.
(3) If any goods forfeited pursuant to this Act are such that their value may diminish because of being perishable or old or it is difficult to keep them because of the lack of godown or space or in the case of animals, the Customs Officer may immediately auction such goods as prescribed.
(4) The Customs Office shall credit the proceeds of the auction referred to in Sub-section (3) to the deposit account.
(5) If it is held subsequently that those goods which have been auctioned pursuant to Sub-section (1), (2) or (3) are to be returned to the owner thereof, only the proceeds of such auction shall be returned to that owner. Provided that if any tax, charge or other fee or amount is chargeable on such proceeds, only the amount remaining after deducting such tax, charge, fee and amount shall be provided to the owner.
(6) If it is not appropriate to hold in the Customs Office any motor vehicle used to transport goods by way of export smuggling or import smuggling and produced before that Office because of the lack of space or being unable to protect it, the concerned Customs Officer shall get the value of such vehicle fixed by the prescribed committee and auction, or cause to be auctioned, such vehicle at that value.
(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (6), the owner of such motor vehicle may submit an application to clear that motor vehicle, by furnishing a cash deposit of the amount consisting of the value fixed
pursuant to sub-section
(6) as well as the amount to be set by adding the tax and charge chargeable on such value pursuant to the prevailing laws.
(8) Where an application is submitted pursuant to sub-section
(7), the Customs Officer may collect such deposit and return the motor vehicle to that owner; and if, on taking action on and disposing such application, the motor vehicle is held to be forfeited, the Customs Office may
credit the deposit so furnished into the revenue and return that motor vehicle to its owner. If it is decided that such motor vehicle is not liable to be forfeited and the owner of that vehicle is entitled to get it returned, the deposit furnished by that owner shall be refunded as prescribed.
(9) Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Section, the Customs Officer may decompose, decay or destroy, as prescribed, those goods which cannot be auctioned pursuant to this Act or which cannot be brought into use in any manner.