Wednesday 15 March 2023

The Chief Commissioner of Papua New Guinea Customs, David Towe has expressed disappointment over misleading reports on Customs taxes on Imported goods.

He clarifies that recent reports claiming an increase in import tariffs and taxes by the Customs Authority are false and misleading.

“The amendments made to the Customs Tariffs Act in the 2022 budget only involved changes to the descriptions and coding protocols of goods, and there were no changes made to the taxes and tariff rates of imported goods”.

He added that the changes to the descriptions and coding protocols of goods were required by the World Customs Organization and were made to comply with international obligations.

Mr Towe also revealed that Customs auditors have discovered inconsistencies in the rates and codes used by several importers during recent audits, and that these importers must now pay the unpaid taxes owed to the state.

“They are also required to use the correct tariff rates and codes/descriptions, which now attract tax, said Mr Towe.

“The Customs tax law stipulates that the Customs Authority can go back up to five years to collect any outstanding taxes that have not been paid”.

Mr Towe emphasized that it is the Customs Authority’s duty to protect the States’ revenues and collect all taxes due to the state, and that importers cannot make false claims or try to hide behind a declining economy to evade paying the taxes owed to the state.

He also clarified that the Customs tax laws do not make any provisions for importers who claim that the goods have already been sold and cannot be taxed.

Mr Towe hopes that his statement will clarify the misleading reports and statements that have been made in the media.

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