The US embassy in Cambodia is running an auction, set to benefit buyers in the Kingdom who will get the opportunity to bid on used stock from its office, starting at $50 per lot.
The act has been lauded by NGOs, who along with the government, have been offered tax exemptions on all lots.
US Embassy in Cambodia spokesperson Chad Roedemeier said: “We have over 1,000 items ranging from small electronics to large pieces of furniture and everything in between. These items are still in good condition or can be repurposed for other uses. The motive of our auction is to dispose of unneeded items in order to free up storage,” he said.
“We have arranged similar items into about 30 lots. Bidders can view photos of the lots online while the auction is open and can bid only on entire lots,” he said.
“All proceeds from the auction will be deposited back in to the US Treasury,” he added.
The US State Department recently released an online auctioning tool designed to streamline the auction process, with US Embassies around the world selling surplus property via web based electronic auctions.
This will be their third worldwide online auction.
The NGO Commentator of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability San Chey said: “I respect the decision of the US Embassy on their auction principles. Whether they put it on auction with tax exemptions or distribute to civil society for free, it is still a form of charity.”
The import tax is calculated by multiplying the winning bid amount with the tax rate of each item. The applied tax rate for general items is 26.5 percent.
US Embassy employees are prohibited from bidding on any lots.
The auction from the US Embassy in Cambodia started on August 31 and will end on September 4 at 5pm, with bids allowed 24 hours a day within the timeframe.