Sale of Moveable Capital Equipment, Procedure for the


To establish guidelines for the sale of moveable capital equipment at Boston University.

Covered Parties

This procedure applies to any employee who is responsible for purchasing and removing moveable capital equipment.


Moveable Capital Equipment

Defined as any article of non-expendable tangible property (e.g., automobile, centrifuge, microscope, projector, network server) that meets the following capitalization criteria; purchased item has a useful life of one year or greater, cost of the item is $5,000 or greater, including delivery and installation costs, and including the cost of attachments required to operate the item when those attachments are acquired as part of the original equipment purchase, and Boston University has title to, is the custodian of, or is held responsible to account for the item.

University Procedure

Moveable capital equipment (MCE)* that is no longer used or needed by the department should be offered to other University departments to promote reutilization via the “Not in Use” file located here. This operation supports a sustainable environment and a green campus, while aiming to provide affordable options to both departments.  If you have MCE that you want to make available to other individuals at BU free of charge, please contact

Surplus University moveable capital equipment may only be sold to outside parties with the written permission of the dean, department chair, or unit head of the school. The sale of any moveable capital equipment must be accompanied by an authorized bill of sale indicating the buyer, seller, date, and equipment profile (including model and serial numbers).

All moveable capital equipment is sold in an “as is” condition with no further obligation to Boston University. The Movable Capital Equipment Management Form with an authorized department signature and supervisor approval must be forwarded to Property Management prior to the equipment leaving the University. The surplus moveable capital equipment sales fee are shown below.

Original funding sourceWhat happens to re-sale funds 
Restricted Funds (e.g. endowment, gift, faculty start up account)Return 100% to funding source
Departmental Funds (e.g. non-sponsored, discretionary accounts)Net proceeds of < $10,000 remain with the department

Net proceeds => $10,000 remains with the department at the discretion of the School or Provost

Sponsored Research FundsFollow the sponsor’s rules; if that sponsor allows the sale without return of proceeds, the proceeds should remain with the PI, or if the PI is no longer with the University, should go to a VP research fund to support research cost sharing/under-recovery.  Contact before proceeding with sale.

* Moveable capital equipment purchased with Federal or Non-Federal funds must be reviewed by Research Accounting, Sponsored Programs Post Award, and Property Management prior to any sale to validate owner title to the equipment.

* Sensitive moveable capital equipment may not be sold or transferred without all appropriate approvals and authorizations.

* Vehicles that Boston University is responsible for, located at Boston University, or belonging to Boston University may not be sold, rented or leased by any department. Please contact Property Management for additional information regarding vehicle purchase and sales.

Note; this fee structure relates to the sales of individual items. There may be exceptions where a sale of 1 lot of moveable capital equipment is generated by a department (such as a P.I. transfer involving the sale of many pieces of moveable capital equipment to another institution). In all such bulk sales, the proceeds percentage will be subject to negotiation, and based on level of effort required and other cost considerations.

Uniform Guidance, 200.315 (5) (e) Equipment

As described in Uniform Guidance, 200.15 (5) (e), if the non-Federal entity is authorized or required to sell the property, proper sales procedures must be established to ensure the highest possible return.

(e) Disposition. When original or replacement equipment acquired under a Federal award is no longer needed for the original project or program or for other activities currently or previously supported by a Federal awarding agency, except as otherwise provided in Federal statutes, regulations, or Federal awarding agency disposition instructions, the non-Federal entity must request disposition instructions from the Federal awarding agency if required by the terms and conditions of the Federal award. Disposition of the equipment will be made as follows, in accordance with Federal awarding agency disposition instructions:

(1) Items of equipment with a current per unit fair market value of $5,000 or less may be retained, sold or otherwise disposed of with no further obligation to the Federal awarding agency.

(2) Except as provided in §200.312 Federally-owned and exempt property, paragraph (b), or if the Federal awarding agency fails to provide requested disposition instructions within 120 days, items of equipment with a current per-unit fair-market value in excess of $5,000 may be retained by the non-Federal entity or sold. The Federal awarding agency is entitled to an amount calculated by multiplying the current market value or proceeds from sale by the Federal awarding agency’s percentage of participation in the cost of the original purchase. If the equipment is sold, the Federal awarding agency may permit the non-Federal entity to deduct and retain from the Federal share $500 or ten percent of the proceeds, whichever is less, for its selling and handling expenses.

(3) The non-Federal entity may transfer title to the property to the Federal Government or to an eligible third party provided that, in such cases, the non-Federal entity must be entitled to compensation for its attributable percentage of the current fair market value of the property.

(4) In cases where a non-Federal entity fails to take appropriate disposition actions, the Federal awarding agency may direct the non-Federal entity to take disposition actions.

Responsible Parties

Property ManagementResearch Financial Operations617-353-4555


This procedure was adopted in March 2018.

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