Category Archives: Customs

Clearing a Pathway for Tourism in PNG

By : Post Courier

 

Understanding the potential market size of niche markets gives a clear pathway to planning how the tourism industry needs to develop its services, infrastructure, itineraries and marketing campaigns to attract new tourists says Jerry Agus, CEO of Tourism Promotion Authority.

“PNG offers a host of products and attractions that can meet the needs of these high-spending niche market travelers,” he added.

With international arrivals in PNG growing by an average of 13% since 2002, the International Visitor Survey shows that tourists have contributed $105 million to the economy in the first half of 2017. Given the numbers, targeting a niche market can prove to be timely for PNG’s tourism sector.

This is according to a report set to be launched in November. The data will be used to help PNG develop its tourism industry.

IFC’s tourism project in Papua New Guinea is focused on supporting the development of tourism businesses, improving tourism-related conditions, and helping to attract investment in the tourism sector.

Raids In City

The National

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK

A MAJOR government operation led by the Immigration Department has uncovered illegal activities conducted by some foreign-owned businesses in Port Moresby.

A team comprising officers from the PNG Customs, Labour Department, Investments Promotion Authority, National Capital District Commission, Bank of PNG and police inspected some businesses and questioned foreign workers yesterday.

The team confiscated two vehicles allegedly smuggled into the country in a container.
The officers also questioned 30 foreign workers for allegedly breaching their visa conditions and work permits.
Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, compliance and border division Dino Mas, who invited The National to accompany the officers yesterday, said each government agency was to check to see if the foreign-owned businesses and workers were complying with  PNG laws.

During a debriefing session after yesterday’s inspection, officers exchanged information and discussed what they had discovered.

PNG Customs Officers said they discovered two brand new vehicles, yet to be introduced to the country, hidden in a container.

“These model vehicles have not been introduced yet into PNG. Yet they are already here. We checked the payment documents and discovered that the owner paid only K8000 for each vehicle,” an officer said.
“We will check our overseas counterpart where the vehicle came from, how these vehicles were shipped out of their country.

“We also discovered large quality of undeclared cigarettes in a container in the same premises. These cigarettes were brought in without paying custom taxes.”
Bank of PNG officers, who requested anonymity, said some of these foreign companies had been avoiding paying taxes to the Internal Revenue Commission.

“Some of these companies are making up to K2 million profit annually. But they were declaring around K500 in tax return. So they are avoid paying taxes,” one officer said.
“Seeing their business operations from outside, it is very big. But when they provide business reports, they make it a very small operation.”
The officers said there were many smaller companies but linked to only three or four big companies.

“And they transfer all the money to one parent company and from there, they bank it in an overseas account.
“This is money laundering. We discovered large amount of cash in their premises and discovered that they don’t bank their money in our commercial banks.

“We encourage them to bank the money for security reasons.”
Labour officers requesting anonymity said they discovered that some companies were not paying superannuation for local staff. They also do not pay the minimum K3 an hour rate.
“Some of these foreign employees are doing jobs that locals can do like operating cash registers. But on their work permit they are managers.

“We also found out that there are too many managers for one job. Some of them come on dependent or tourist visas.  But they end up doing business.”
The Labour officers also discovered that some foreign workers were paid in cash so that their employer would avoid paying tax.

Customs Enforces Ban on Betelnut, Alcohol, Drugs

The National

The PNG Customs board has imposed zero tolerance on alcohol, betel nut and drugs in the workplace.

Chief Commissioner Ray Paul announced the board’s decision last Friday during the visit by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Able to the Customs offices.

Paul said as of today a memo would be issued and a month later all employees would sign the zero tolerance policy.
“If anyone is caught, they will be terminated. We were now living up to the general orders and we are putting our feet down on this to make sure that everyone complies.

“It will be challenging but I want all to see it as a positive step in the right direction to think as one and to get things delivered.”

Paul said since moving out of the Internal Revenue Commission in 2013 they have maintained a strong stand to be independent.

He said there were about 300 workers around the country with about 100 based in Port Moresby.

Paul said their strategic plan for the past five years would lapse at the end of this year and they were now working on the new plan.

“We will invite the minister to launch the strategic plan and kick start it next year. It will go in line with the 100-day plan and we are already working to ensure our part of the business works. Our manpower has been our strength and we were able to achieve the level of output, and the contribution by our officers has improved,” Paul said.

“We have a lot of challenges, we are not perfect but we are much better now than five years ago.”

He said PNG Customs was continuing to invest in human resource development with about 90 per cent of their officers attaining tertiary qualifications.