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Import Procedures


  • When goods are imported into Papua New Guinea whether by sea, air or land. The owner is obliged by law to correctly declare goods to Customs.
  • The owner via his/her clearing agent (Customs Broker) is required to prepare and lodge with Customs an import/SAD declaration/ import entry describing the nature, quantity, value, the supplier and country of origin of the goods imported or to be imported.
  • This import entry MUST contain the name, address and Tax File Number of the owner is a legal document and any errors and or omissions may attract the imposition administrative penalties.
  • Owners are warned that deliberate false declaration to Customs may result in the goods being seized and the owner or agent prosecuted.
A. Import Clearance Procedure
5. Lodging an Import Declaration:

5.1 The import clearance procedure requires the lodging of a declaration/entry (Customs Form 15) through Customs ASYCUDA World (AW) System.

5.2 The entry can only be lodged by a licensed Customs Broker, who has been authorised in writing by the owner of the goods to act on his/her behalf through the form G26 agreement.

5.3 The Customs Broker shall deal with all requirements/formalities needed to clear the goods through Customs, NAQIA and other, relevant border agencies prior to being released for home consumption.

5.4 The import entry shall be made by the owner or agent at any time within five (5) clear working days before the intended arrival at the port of entry of a conveyance carrying the goods;

5.5 And not later than five (5) clear working days from the date of the inwards report of the conveyance, or within such extended time as the Collector directs

5. 6 A requirement to enter goods does not apply to goods that, for a total shipment:

  • Have a value for duty not exceeding 5000 Kina; or:
  • Are accompanied or unaccompanied personal or household effects of a passenger, or a member of a of a crew, of a ship or aircraft

5.7 Goods that have a value for duty not exceeding 5000 Kina but otherwise require an entry to be made shall be reported to Customs and duty paid in an approved form.

5.8 Good that have a value for duty not exceeding 250 Kina shall be deemed to have a “free” rate of duty.

6. Documents to be submitted:

6.1 A genuine Licensed Customs Broker must be identified and nominated by the importer using Customs form G26 to lodge the import declaration with Customs.

6.2 A Customs Entry (import declaration) is lodged through the AW system by the nominated Customs Broker. The relevant import document copies will be uploaded in the AW system for verification by Customs.

6.3 If required by Customs, the Customs Broker is to print a hard copy of the entry with all relevant documents and produce it to Customs at a designated Customs office.

6.4 The most important and often requested documents to confirm and verify the declarations made by the importer and Customs Broker are:

  • Genuine Commercial Invoice showing the correct value, quality, description, etc
  • Bill of Lading or Air Waybill
  • Purchase Orders
  • Bank/Funds Transfer Documents
  • Packing List
  • Customs Valuation Declaration
  • Certificate of origin and value (if applicable)
  • Import Permits /License/Applications, etc (if prohibited/restricted)
  • Any other documents as may be required by Customs, including relevant emails
7. Checking of Declaration and Supporting Documents:

7.1 The checking and verification of the declaration and relevant source documents are part of Customs due diligence checks to ensure the goods are correctly classified and valued.

7.2 Customs checks is done to ensure;

  • Correct documents are submitted
  • Goods have been correctly classified using the updated Customs Tariff Act
  • Legitimate value of the goods is declared
  • The correct rate of duty has been applied
  • Restricted/prohibited goods are not imported
8. Inspection and Release of Goods:

8.1 At any time up to the release of the goods from a Customs Controlled Area, Customs has the mandate to intervene and to examine shipment/s where intelligence and risk assessment indicate the likelihood of it containing prohibited or restricted imports.

9. Payment of Duties and Taxes:

9.1 The payment of applicable duties and taxes as detailed on the notice of assessment issued by Customs.

9.2 Import duties are payable by the owner or its agent at the rate in force when entry is made of the goods for home consumption.

9.3 Here an assessment is made of an entry linked to a Customs prepayment account (if available), the AW System auto generates duty payment receipt for the total duty assessed on this account.

9.4 Where an assessment is made of an entry not link to Customs prepayment account, the assessing officer shall issue a notice of assessment for duty payable to the owner or its agent of the goods.

9.5 The duty specified in a notice of assessment is due and payable within 5 clear working days excluding weekends after the date of the issue of the notice of assessment.

9.6 Where an amount of duty specified in a notice of assessment is not paid on or before the date specified in the notice and the notice has been issued to the owner or agent of the goods, the owner or agent of the goods shall pay to the Collector, in addition to the duty so specified;

  • interest charges on the unpaid duty at the rate of 8% of the amount of the unpaid duty for each 5 days period or part thereof for which the duty remains unpaid until the duty is paid.
  • An administrative penalty fee established by the Customs Act

9.7 Importer or its agent may choose to settle import duties via electronic payment system or EFPOS, as Cash payment is not accepted.

B. Penalties for Non-compliances and Breaches of Legislation

10. PNG Customs Service takes a very serious stance against non- compliance and breaches of the Customs Act and other allied legislation which it enforces.

11. Impositions of substantial penalties will be applied against any non-compliance and breaches of legislation that is evident during the Customs clearance process.

12. Administrative Penalty

12.1 Penalties range from 50 – 200% of any additional duties and taxes assessed, and/or seizure of the goods and conveyances (vehicle, vessel or aircraft).

12.2 The following will apply when a penalty has been imposed:

  • Importers who do not make payments of any penalties within the prescribed period will have an interest added for any day thereafter the date due and may be referred for prosecution should the penalties remain unpaid.
  • The importer will be profiled as non-compliance individual/company and their future import will be targeted and appropriate corrective actions will be applied by Customs
  • Unless the reason is genuine, any appeal for remittance or remission or waiver of any penalties will not be addressed by Customs, unless payments of these penalties have been made
  • The actual imported goods may also be detained and or seized, together with the imposition of penalties.
13. Detention and or Seizure of Goods

13.1 Customs will detain and/or seize without hesitation, any cargo and conveyance that does not satisfy any legal requirements for lawful clearance. Generally, Customs will observe the following, as per the Customs Act & Regulations;

  • A Customs detention notice (Custody Receipt) and/or Seizure Notice is given to the importer advising of the seizure of any goods
  • The importer has 30 days (inclusion weekends and holidays) after the notice to lay claim of the goods by deposit of a security bond and or take out court after this notice, to lay claim for the proceedings against Customs for the recovery of the goods
  • If none of the above takes place, and after 30 days the Customs will dispose of the goods by sale through auction or any other means
  • Administrative penalties, imposed, are independent of the seizure security amount, for recovery of seized goods, and must be paid separately.
C. Records of Imports

14. It is mandatory that the owner of the goods and anyone who causes goods to be imported retain all relevant records in relation to those goods for a period of 5 years from the date of import.

15. If the owner or other person is selected for Customs audit these records will be examined by Customs officers to ensure compliance with the Customs Act. Anyone who fails to retain these records carries severe penalties and this may include term of imprisonment.

D. Restrictions & Prohibitions

16. The owner of imported goods should be aware the list of prohibited imports that they may only be imported under the authority of a permit or license, without which the goods are prohibited.

17. A Schedule of goods that are restricted or prohibited absolutely can be seen in the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1973, or online via the Customs website

18. Nevertheless, restrictions and or prohibitions generally apply to goods that are of menace to the community e.g.; dangerous weapons such as firearms, illicit drugs, pornographic materials and copy right infringement goods etc.

For further information please contact any Customs office; or visit

Authorised By: Mr David Towe Chief Commissioner of Customs PNG Customs Service