As a general rule, customs agents, who are trained in classification and valuation procedures, should be able to properly classify your goods.

Where classification is in doubt persons are advised to contact the tariff officer located in the regional offices in Port Moresby, Lae or Rabaul. If the matter is more complex then it will be referred to the Headquarters Branch in Port Moresby for determination.

While advice on classification may be obtained from any regional office only the headquarters office can issue a ruling.

The difference between advice and a ruling is that advice is of a general nature and is given to customs agents, clients and industry so that they are able to make a decision for which they are accountable. Hence, advice is provided without prejudice.

A ruling is an instruction on a classification issue that must be adhered to. Customs is accountable for any error made in the ruling. A ruling may be challenged in Court, but if it is not, then it carries the full weight of law and persons who disregard the ruling may be liable to additional duty, administrative penalties, and seizure of their goods or prosecution.

It is important to note that for Customs to make accurate and consistent classification rulings and to provide general advice, importers and traders have a responsibility to provide Customs with as much information as possible when asking for a ruling to be made. This may include literature, brochures, catalogues or even samples of the product in question, together with suggested tariff classification possibilities and any supporting arguments.

Once a ruling is made it remains in force until it is superseded. Amendments or changes to the Harmonized System (HS) or Tariff Nomenclature may result in Customs issuing a ruling without a request from industry. This ruling applies in the same way as if a particular importer or customs agent had requested it.

Customs Tariff Act

The Customs Tariff Act 1990 has two (2) Schedules:

Select a section,