Uncollected goods – Your legal obligations and rights

Posted on Nov 6, 2017 by Terry Morgan   |   Categories: Commercial & Business Law

As a business owner you should be aware of your legal obligations and rights when a customer pays for goods but fails to collect them or fails to provide you with delivery details. This is an issue that at times arises for manufacturers, wholesalers and even retailers.

The Uncollected Goods Act NSW is the starting point for the applicable law in this circumstance and sets out the procedure that holders of uncollected goods are to follow before selling or disposing of goods where there has been no agreement between the parties to the contrary.

Your requirements under the Act depend on the value of the goods, but generally require the holder of goods to give all parties with an interest in the goods a certain period of notice of their intention to dispose of the goods. Goods valued over $5,000 require a Court Order authorising their disposal. The value of the goods also determines the method of disposal of goods.

There are specific rules for the disposal of particular items such as motor vehicles and you should seek legal advice as to the specific requirements of disposal before taking any action.

There are also laws that deal with how the proceeds of the sale of uncollected goods must be dealt.

It is important for business owners to ensure that there standard term and conditions of trade deal with the issue of uncollected goods. For example matters such as the payment of storage fees are not fully protected by the legislation and as such should be included in your terms and conditions of sale. Business owners should seek legal advice as to their terms and conditions so as to ensure that in the instance of uncollected goods they are protected.