The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) is currently in possession of approximately N$3 million worth of confiscated goods that are being kept at a warehouse in Windhoek.
The goods have been confiscated through different entry points by customs.
The agency says most of the time it confiscates goods, it is due to a lack of documentation and outstanding requirements.
According to NamRA’s Regional Manager for Customs Operations in the Central Region, Abner David, the State warehouse accommodates both detained and seized goods.
Detained goods are goods confiscated by customs and kept by NamRA because of various reasons, such as outstanding requirements and many more.
Detained goods still belong to importers, but are kept at the warehouse until the importer presents the outstanding requirements to the agency, such as outstanding clearance fees.
“Seized goods are goods that are prohibited or smuggled goods. But, detained goods owners are always given 90 days to present whatever is required from them by customs. After that, if they fail to present what is required from them, then only do we auction them out, donate or destroy them,” David explained.
He emphasised that narcotics are seized.
There are three categories when it comes to the disposal of seized goods.
One of them is public auctions, where the agency sells the goods out to the public, the other option is a donation, whereby the agency donated goods that cannot be sold out to the public, government and private organisations.
Donatable goods can be items such as books and bedding.
The last category is a distraction; this is where goods that are not fit for human consumption or goods not approved by the country’s laws get destroyed.
The agency says that it has nothing against ‘Order with Me’ agents, and so far, the goods confiscated from local importers stand barely at 1%.
“The ‘Order with Me’ in terms of trade in this country and in terms of what we are confiscating does not even add up to 1%, it is very little. Here we are talking about confiscating a pair of shoes or two shirts. Yes, we have some of the goods but they don’t even make up a whole 1%,” David said.
Most of the confiscated goods belong to big traders and not small businesses.