OVERVIEW OF DEBT MANAGEMENT

Debt Management is a function responsible for managing debts owed to Papua New Guinea Customs Service. Its main function is to ensure debts are collected in a timely manner, thus increase revenue collections and reduce debts.

The types of debts currently exists in PNG Customs are debts established by Post Clearance
Audit (PCA) through audit activities, Customs Enforcement through enforcement activities and dishonoured cheques.

  1. Post Clearance Audit (PCA) Cases

Post Clearance Audit section through audit activities identify cases, audit and establishes debts. The cases to be audited are cases where there is misclassifications in lodgement of Customs Entries. Cases are audited and an Administrative Penalty of 50 – 200 %under the Customs Act (Chapter 101) is applied depending on the nature of the case.

After the conclusion of the audit, general recovery actions are taken at the Regional PCA Sections.

The types of general recovery actions taken are;

  • Issuing of Post Notes – thirty one (31) days.
  • First Demand Letter – twenty one (21) days.
  • Second Demand Letter – fourteen (14) days
  • Final Demand Letter – seven (7) days.

If payment is made at the general recovery stages, the file is closed. If not, Late Payment Interest of 8% per 5 days is calculated and added onto the initial debt. The case is referred to Debt Management for issuing of garnishee under Section 191AA of the Customs Act.

Debt Management register the cases and review the files. The type of recovery actions taken by the debt management are;

  • Issue Garnishee Notices to all commercial banks.
  • Review cases after 14 days and resubmit garnishee notices if payment is not received.
  • If payment is still not received, case is reviewed again and recommend other recovery actions like making various searches to identify the debtor, placing travel restrictions, placing stop to processing the client’s future import/export entries, refer cases to Legal Service for legal actions, write to Public Solicitor if deceased taxpayer had left any estate for him/her to manage, make submission to Secretary Department of Finance to write off debt as irrecoverable if recovery avenue is statute barred, etc.

  1. Enforcement Cases

PNG Customs Enforcement Division also establishes debts through enforcement activities. General recovery actions are taken at their level and refer the cases to Debt Management for garnishee notices if debts are not paid. Debt Management apply the recovery actions as mentioned above.

  1. Dishonoured Cheques

With introduction of the new payment system, PNG Customs Service will no longer receive bad payments. However, should there be any dishonours under unlikely circumstances, Debt Management will apply the following recovery actions to recoup the dishonoured cheque.

  • First Demand Letter – fourteen (14) days.
  • Second Demand Letter – seven (7) days.
  • Issue Garnishee Notices to all commercial banks.
  • Review cases after 14 days and resubmit garnishee notices if payment is not received.
  • If payment is still not received, case is reviewed again and recommend other recovery actions like those mentioned at the last stanza of PCA cases.

  1. Mode of Payment

With the introduction of the new payment system, PNG Customs no longer accepts cash and cheque payments. Clients wishing to repay debt are encouraged to use the EFTPOS machines provided at all Customs Cashiers Office, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Prepayment.

  • EFTPOS

All cards as per the signage at the cashier’s counter are accepted. The fees for EFTPOS for all domestic cards are as follows;

  1. K 0 .00 – K50.00 is 50t,
  2. K51.00 – K1999.00 is 1% e.g. K165 is K 1.65
  3. K2000.00 ≥ is K20.00 flat e.g. K 5500.00 is K20.00, K10, 000.00 is K20.00, K20, 000.00 is K20.00 and so forth and charged by BSP.

This option is convenient for one time importer/exporter or SMEs and any assessment up to K15,000.00. You may liaise with your bank to increase the threshold on your account as EFTPOS transaction is limited to a certain amount depending on the type of card.

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

As part of the PNG Customs Modernization Plan, we will stop accepting payments from Importers/Exporters and Customs/Brokers/Agents. We will require you to arrange with your respective banks to do an Interbank Transfer (EFT) to repay debts from your account to PNG Customs Account as per banking details:

ACCOUNT NAME: Customs Revenue Administration Subsidiary
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 7002820566
ACCOUNT TYPE: Cheque Account
BANK: Bank of South Pacific
BRANCH: Port Moresby
BSP Number: 088 294
SWIFTCODE: BOSPPGPM

Note:  That the above mode of payments can be used by clients to repay debts as well as all other Customs duties.

  • Prepayment

This is a method of payment whereby the client pays in advance a certain amount of money (Payment by Bank cheque). The total amount will be shown as a credit in our ASYCUDA System, and as and when you lodge entries the total balance decreases until the advance is depleted and you do a top up again.

If you require more information regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact Mr John Sam (Assistant Commissioner – Trade & Revenue Administration) on telephone number 312 7452  or Ms Julie Haung (Director Revenue Accounting) on telephone 312 7578   or Ms Josepha Guande on telephone 312 7538 or email samj@customs.gov.pg or haungj@customs.gov.pg or guandej@customs.gov.pg

These are basically the main functions of Debt Management within Papua New Guinea Customs Service. Debt Management is fully functional, therefore should the Importer/Exporter attempts to defraud the State revenue, we will take tough recovery actions to penalize the defaulter and recoup debts owed to the State.