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Traveller Concessions

All travellers should be aware that they might have to pay duty when arriving in PNG if they exceed their duty free concession. Duty is also applicable if you are carrying something for someone else and it is a gift or if you are carrying items that are intended for commercial purposes.

The new concession provides for:

  • new articles which total value does not exceed K1000.00 (K500 for travellers under 18);
  • perfume not exceeding one litre or 500 grams;
  • up to 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco products per adult (over 18); and
  • not more than 2 litres of alcoholic beverage per adult (over 18).

**Please note that crew of vessels and aircraft have slightly different allowances**

How are the concessions applied by Customs?

The following example explains how the concessions are applied.

A family, consisting of husband, partner and one child under 18 years old, arrives at Jacksons Airport from overseas. In their personal luggage, in addition to their clothing; they have a video camera, which they've owned for some time, a new personal computer, 2 cartons of cigarettes and 4 bottles of alcohol.

The duty free allowance and exemptions mean that the family will be charged duty on the new personal computer but not on the used camera or on the cigarettes or alcohol. However as the two adults are entitled to a 1000 Kina duty free concession and the child a 500 Kina concession, the amount of duty payable is calculated on the value personal computer minus 2,500 Kina, being the sum of their concessions.

The calculation will look like this (the value of the computer is for example purposes only):

Value of the personal computer 5,000 Kina
Total family concession 2,500 Kina
Total Customs value for duty 2,500 Kina

The amount of duty Customs charges is calculated at the rate specified in the Customs Tariff Act 1990. Different rates apply for different types of goods. The duty rate for personal computers is currently zero. Customs duty also includes the payment of a GST component. The GST rate applied is 10% of the value of the goods plus the amount of duty payable on those goods.

In this example the calculation for GST is:

K2500 + K0 x 10% = 250 Kina.

The total amount payable to Customs is the sum of the duty and GST. Therefore in this example the total amount to be paid to Customs by this family is 250 Kina.

Had the family add any additional cigarettes or alcohol then they would have been charged duty on them, as the child is not entitled to any allowance for these items and the 1000 Kina exemption on new goods does not apply to tobacco or alcohol products.

A quick guide to the formulas:

  1. The value of the item - the passenger concession = Customs Value [CV]
  2. {Customs Value [CV] + Customs Duty [CD]} x 10% = GST Payable
  3. CD + GST = Total Amount Payable

What happens if I don't have any means of paying the duty?

If you are assessed for duty by Customs and you don't have the means of paying the amount due at the time Customs will detain the goods until such time as you can pay. You will be given an assessment notice and custody receipt for the goods. You will have 30-days in which to return to Customs and pay the amount of duty owed, at which time Customs will release the goods to you. If you fail to pay within this time period, the goods will become forfeit and will be seized by Customs.

Administrative Penalties - what are they?

If a traveller fails to declare or deliberately conceals dutiable items so as to avoid paying duty by making a false statement to a Customs Officer, Customs may impose an administrative penalty against the traveller rather than prosecuting them in the Courts. The penalty is issued on the spot by Customs and the goods subject to the penalty notice will be detained by Customs pending payment. If the goods were not declared then the amount of the penalty fixed by law is an amount equal to the amount of duty and GST sought to be evaded. If the goods were concealed in any way, the amount of the penalty is an amount equal to twice the amount of duty and GST sought to be evaded.

If you are issued with a penalty notice the amount of the penalty, in addition to the amount of duty sought to be evaded must be paid to Customs within 30-days. If you fail to pay within this time period, the detained goods will become forfeit and will be seized by Customs. If the amount of duty warrants it, Customs may decide to prosecute you rather than apply the penalties scheme. If this happens, then the goods will be seized at the time of detection and you will be issued with a summons to appear in Court.

The penalties scheme does not apply to prohibited items, which will be seized by Customs and for which you may be arrested and prosecuted.

Crew

Aircraft crew members on an international flights are extended the following allowances:-

  • 250 cigarettes or their equivalent in tobacco products; and
  • two litres of alcoholic liquor

Note: These concessions are granted to the individual crewmembers once at intervals of not less than 30 days from the date of previous concession was availed of.

Aircraft and their crew on international flights, who are ordinarily domiciled in PNG, are eligible for a passenger concession once each calendar year. This concession can be taken on any trip during one calendar year, but not spread over more than one trip.

Passenger Concessions granted to Aircraft Crews are to be recorded in "Crew Members Allowances and Registration Book"

Duty Free Personal Effects

This concession relates to goods which -

  • are your own exclusive property;
  • are or have been in your possession;
  • are suitable and intended for your own use
  • are not intended for commercial purposes; and
  • are not imported in commercial quantities.

Thus Duty Free Personal Effects include -

  • apparel of all kinds belonging to the passenger;
  • personal articles of the type normally carried on your person or in your personal baggage including your normal jewellery, wrist watch, toilet requisites, cigarette lighter, hearing aid, walking stick, umbrella, thermos bottle (vacuum flask), fountain-pen set, spectacles, etc;
  • exposed films depicting incidents of the passengers travel;
  • photographic camera being one (1) camera of each type whether still or movie per passenger travelling alone or two (2) cameras being one of each type per family;
  • portable computer for the passengers own use;
  • sporting requisites, including sporting or camping equipments of travelling sportsmen and riding saddles (Please note such items may be examined and detained by Quarantine officers subject to any Quarantine restrictions that may apply); and
  • hand instruments of a kind used by medical, dental or veterinary professions, tradesman's equipment.

Commercial Goods

If you are on a business visit and carrying commercial goods they may be subject to duty, where applicable.

If the goods are intended for temporary importation, you may have to arrange Security to cover duty, pending re-exportation.

If you are carrying commercial goods, goods for resale, or goods for use in your business, they will be subject to duty (where applicable) and Goods and Services Tax (GST). You should declare these goods on your arrival card and go to the "Goods to Declare Exit" (red channel).

If you have not arranged pre-clearance, the goods will be held under Customs control until an Import Declaration or informal clearance document (for goods with a Customs value of less than K1000) has been processed and cleared. You will not be able to take the goods with you from the airport until the import declaration has been assessed and any duty or GST payable has been paid.