PNG Customs carried out its largest destruction exercise to date with the destruction of various contraband and illicit goods seized imported with over K 30 million in duties and taxes.
Due to border compliance and customs enforcement, these non-compliant imports were detected and detained at the border which was declared unfit for human consumption and were destroyed under the supervision of law enforcement officials.
A total of six containers were seized from eight different importers for various breaches of customs law relating to smuggling, tax evasion offenses and infringements of intellectual property rights. The total tax value of all the destroyed cargo is over K30 million.
Chief Customs Commissioner David Towe confirmed that the combined contents of the six containers included 6,200 cartons of assorted illicit cigarettes and tobacco products, 5,400 assorted cartons of alcohol and some jewelry.
The destruction exercise was carried out just outside Port Moresby in the presence of customs, police and health workers from NCDC (food sanitation).
The Chief Commissioner explained that the PNG Customs Service has recently stepped up its law enforcement approaches against transnational criminals and their illicit business activities.
He said various enforcement and compliance strategies have been launched targeting trends and techniques employed by non-compliant traders, especially those involved in tax evasion through importation, manufacturing and trading. the distribution of highly taxable and excise products such as cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol products.
The proactive approaches taken by the Customs leadership team and the vigilance of frontline Customs officers who work hard at the borders have recently resulted in an increase in the detection, detention and seizure of large numbers of goods. contraband and unpaid goods.
The Chief Commissioner reaffirmed that Customs maintains a firm position to take back PNG, eliminate corruption, improve performance and productivity, put in place strong law enforcement and border control systems to end tax evasion, smuggling and the illegal production and distribution of contraband goods and illicit business activities.
He strongly warned importers and exporters to comply with customs laws or suffer the consequences.
With recent changes to the Customs Law of 1951 (amended) by Parliament in November 2020, which significantly increased penalties and fines for violating various customs laws, Customs expects greater compliance. voluntary from all stakeholders.