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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

PNG Customs clamp down on smuggling racket in Port Moresby involving millions of kina

The PNG Customs Service (PNGCS) has detained a large number of foreign manufactured cigarettes and alcohol products smuggled into the country with the intention of evading an estimated K500,00.00 in import excise and GST.

We believe that this particular smuggling activity has been going on for some time and we are concerned that a substantial amount of revenue owing to the State has been lost over that time.
PNG Customs strives to facilitate legitimate trade and create a conducive environment for businesses to operate and grow in the country but we do not tolerate smuggling activities. We are continually working with all relevant stakeholders to clamp down on such practices and we will do everything within our powers to make sure they face the full force of the law.
We are extremely grateful and we commend members of the public who initially came forward with information that led to this detainment.

On this instance, a company was spotted unpacking cartons of cigarettes and alcoholic products from a container into their premises on Wednesday July 20, 2016. Quick checks and verifications done with the shipping and Customs database confirmed that this particular shipment was falsely declared to Customs as building materials. Customs officers reacted quickly to secure the container and arranged for a search warrant.

On Friday July 22, 2016, a search was executed on the premises of the company of interest. The search resulted in the detention of 55 cartons and 141 inners of foreign cigarettes (Marlboro) and over 1,007 cartons of spirits (alcoholic liquor) made in Spain and the Philippines. The import excise and GST evaded for the detained goods is estimated to be around K500, 000.00
The detained goods are now packed and stored away in one 20 foot container. They will be seized and disposed of through public tender or destroyed appropriately. Customs is now fully aware of the mode of smuggling used and appropriate measures are now being put in place to improve detection of such cases and to deter people from engaging in such practices.

Once such measure is the soon-to-be launched container examination facility (CEF) located at the Motukea wharf that will greatly enhance Customs’ ability to detect false declarations, eventually leading to an increase in voluntary compliance by the import and export community.
In a similar incident in April 2016, 882 cartons of foreign manufactured cigarettes packed in a 40 foot container were detained after Customs discovered that the cargo was also declared as building materials. The street value of the detained cigarettes was valued to be K8.82 million and the duty evaded was estimated to be around K2.4 million. The cigarettes were later seized and burnt after the Health Department deemed it unfit for human consumption.

Furthermore, Customs is giving a one-month amnesty for all online sellers of exciseable products in PNG to come to us and declare their statements so that we can assist you in paying the correct local excise duty owing to the State. We believe the that online selling prices are not correct, as they do not reflect the prices normally charged when excise is paid. Exciseable products are products like alcohol and cigarettes. We already know who you are but we are giving you this opportunity to voluntarily come to us so that you do not incur penalties later on when we come to you.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 1:47 AM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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