HUGE LAND AND SEA BORDER POSES A GREAT CHALLENGE TO CUSTOMS
The Papua New Guinea Customs Service currently has about 500 officers in 21 locations responsible for 5,152km of coastline and 820km of land border. PNG Customs has been mandated to watch over a huge land and sea area spanning from the PNG-Indonesian border in the east, PNG-Solomon Islands border in the west, PNG-Australian border in the south and the huge sea area in the north from Manus province up to the Federated States of Micronesia. It’s a huge area and PNG Customs, including relevant Government agencies, do not have the capacity to be at all places at one time
WE NEED THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO BE OUR ‘EYES AND EARS’
Faced with the enormous task of manning Papua New Guinea’s huge land and sea borders; and knowing that PNG Customs does not have the resources to monitor all these areas, PNG Customs has initiated the Customs Wasman Program to encourage the general public all over PNG to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of Customs.
WHY SHOULD THE PUBLIC FEEL OBLIGED TO HELP CUSTOMS?
PNG Customs’ mandated roles are to secure the national borders, protect the community, collect revenue for the state and facilitate legitimate trade.
If the borders are not secured, harmful products will enter the country and destroy local communities. Harmful products include firearms, drugs, pornography, untested food products and medicines, to name a few. Counterfeit products will also enter the market. These products are mostly substandard when compared to the original product and many people stand to lose their hard earned cash on these items which more often, do not last very long. Therefore in the interest of community safety and the future of our children, it is in every person’s interest to report people who are involved in importing harmful products.
The revenue Customs collects makes up about 30% of the National Budget each year. Part of the revenue collected goes towards improving infrastructure in local communities like schools, roads and bridges. Smuggling takes place because people do not want to pay import taxes. When that happens, Customs does not collect revenue and in turn the Government would not have enough money to improve infrastructure, therefore, the local communities would be the ones to suffer in the end.
PNG Customs is always willing to facilitate trade in the quickest time possible so as to not impede on the business operations of legitimate importers. However, there are people who try to evade paying taxes by smuggling in goods. This is not fair to those who pay taxes, therefore, these people must be reported in so that Customs can investigate, charge and prosecute them.
HOW DO I REPORT SUSPECTED SMUGGLING ACTIVITIES TO CUSTOMS
If you see, hear or know of any person, aircraft, vessel, containers or goods coming into or leaving Papua New Guinea WITHOUT Customs knowledge, call our Hotline number free-of-charge.
You can call this number from anywhere in Papua New Guinea as long as you have mobile phone coverage in your area or if you have access to a landline telephone. Alternately, you can walk into any Customs office in Papua New Guinea to make a report. Customs offices are located in all major towns in the country.