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Boats and cargo x-ray scanner given to PNG Customs

Home Affairs and the Papua New Guinea Customs Service (PNGCS) are proud to announce the gifting of three ABF ‘Port Class’ vessels and an ‘Air-cargo Pallet X-ray scanner’ under the Department of Home Affairs International Capacity Building Program (ICBM) managed by the International Policy Division.

These new and significant capabilities for the PNGCS were two commitments agreed to by ABF Commissioner Michael Outram APM and PNGCS Chief Commissioner, Ray Paul OBE, at the Customs Bilateral Meeting in November 2017 in Port Moresby.

Officially unveiled and gifted in Port Moresby on 19 September 2018, the arrival of the vessels and x-ray come at a critical time ahead of PNG hosting APEC Economic Leaders’ Week (AELW), 12-18 November 2018, where the assets will be put to use for AELW, respectively.

After APEC, the three ‘Stabicraft’ vessels –which enhance the PNGCS’ maritime capability– will be deployed across PNG’s vast maritime domain to enhance border security measures.

Critically, the gifting of the ‘Stabicraft’ vessels is a demonstration of Home Affairs, the ABF and the PNGCS’ enduring ‘customs’ relationship enhancing agency collaboration between Australia and PNG.

Our agencies’ close people-to-people links under the long-standing Institutional Partnerships Program (IPP – managed by DFAT) will also provide for platform specific training by ABF Operational Readiness Command to enable the safe and agile use of the vessels sourced from Weipa, Thursday Island and Darwin as they take on a new and meaningful life securing PNG’s maritime border.

The air-cargo pallet x-ray will enhance the PNGCS’ ability to detect, deter and disrupt unlawful and restricted goods moving through PNG’s air cargo stream.

Moreover, the x-ray’s implementation will allow for the enhanced ways to collect revenue at the border from illicit and falsely declared goods.

Targeted training in image analysis and detection was delivered to PNGCS Officers provided by Competency Assessment Training Officer (CATO) qualified ABF officers already in PNG under the IPP ‘Twinning Program’.

The training provided the PNGCS Officers with Subject Matter Expert accreditation. The ABF IPP Officers will continue to provide technical support with their PNG counterparts to support PNGCS to promote a safe and secure PNG border”.