By JUNIOR UKAHA
THE Papua New Guinea Customs Commission has raised more than K1.9 billion in duties for the national government last year, commissioner Gary Juffa said last week, The National reports.
Speaking at a media conference in Port Moresby, while officially launching the customs annual report for last year, Juffa said despite constraints like lack of manpower, the organisation had posted an extra K273 million (16%) in revenue for the state, surpassing the government’s forecasted target of K1.7 billion.
Juffa said this was an increase of K416 million (27%) compared to revenue collected for 2009.
“The increase in revenue collection is primarily attributed to the increase in international trade volume, and enhanced compliance strategies employed by customs,” he said.
He said the revenue came from import duties, import GST, import excise, export duties and local taxes including inland excise and sundry collections.
“I would like to thank my executives for a wonderful job last year which resulted in the organisation raising more revenue than what was expected by the government,” Juffa said.
He said customs, as the entity responsible for monitoring the movement of goods in and out of the country, “will continue to protect the interests of the country and its people by detecting and preventing contraband products and dangerous and illicit materials from entering the country”.
He said the work of customs was not limited to enhancing border security but involved in protecting the community, facilitating international trade and commerce and collecting government revenue and trade statistics.
Juffa said this year would see customs embark on a number of projects including:
*Recruiting more staff;
*Relocating its headquarters and Southern region office to a new location;
*Building institutional capacity through specialists training and strategic management;
*Installation of two new container x-ray technology at the Lae and Port Moresby ports to detect contraband and dangerous materials; and
*The introduction of a wide range of customs user-pay service fees in accordance with the CUSTA trust instruments.