November 28, 2012 / 5:49 PM / 6 years ago

Get your cut-price cowboy hats from Norway customs

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian customs authorities are auctioning off 547 cowboy hats, three wooden bath tubs and stacks of knitting yarn to raise cash from items seized at the border, authorities said on Wednesday.

“We have been organizing these internet auctions since 2006-2007 to sell items seized by customs all over Norway,” Jan Erik Haerum, an adviser at the customs authority said. “You can say that we get quite an assorted collection of goods here.”

The agency has already sold off 151 items for around $167,000 and bidders have until Friday if they’re interested in picking up a snowmobile for a mere $2,700, 70 pairs of slippers for $569 or 3,200 plastic bags for a snip a $88.

For shoppers with a thin wallet, a bicycle rim (35 cents) and a used Saab car engine ($2.10) are also available.

Norway is one of the few European countries which is not a member of the European Union. It maintains strict customs controls as its astronomical import duties and high domestic prices attract smuggling.

The proceeds will be kept by the government even though the country is not desperate for cash as it runs a massive budget surplus of 12 percent of gross domestic product thanks to lucrative oil revenues.

Reporting By Vegard Botterli, editing by Paul Casciato

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