Prime Minister Commends PNG Customs for Counteracting Counterfeit Trade

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape praised the efforts of PNG Customs  for their significant achievements in combating the importation of counterfeit goods into Papua New Guinea from 36 per cent to 4 per cent.

“This has been made possible by increased government investments in border surveillance and fighting illicit trade,” he said.

 During a meeting with PNG Customs Chief Commissioner David Towe and representatives from British American Tobacco (BAT) PNG, discussions centered around excise tax enforcement and the penalization of businesses not complying with customs regulations.

“Whilst I am greatly concerned about continued activities relating to directly importing or aiding in the import and distribution of counterfeit goods in Papua New Guinea, I would like to commend Customs Chief Commissioner David Towe and his team at PNG Customs for putting in place stricter mechanisms and processes with regards to trade at our borders, which is resulting in the identification of illegal trade and smuggling of goods.”

 The Prime Minister also acknowledged the role of PNG Customs in generating significant revenue for the government over the past few years and emphasised the necessity of stringent measures to curb illegal imports.

He highlighted the critical situation of illicit cigarette trafficking and related goods which were part of the discussions with BAT PNG.

Chief Commissioner Towe outlined the challenges in distinguishing between counterfeit and genuine products, noting that illicit goods often mimic the appearance of real items and are sold at comparable prices.

He confirmed ongoing cooperation with the Royal PNG Constabulary to address these challenges.

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