PNG Ports clears air on illegal imports

The role of PNG Ports Corporation Limited does not include customs and quarantine duties.

Managing Director Stanley Alphonse said this to clear the air on illegal imports entering the country.

The arrest of several men of Asian origin charged with importing fake beer products, resulted in widespread condemnation that other fake and illegal products entered through the country’s various key sea ports.

The PNG Ports MD said they provide internationally recognised and accepted security at its main port of entries for international cargo and does not include customs and quarantine duties.

He said their core business is to facilitate trade and commerce and is similar to the role the National Airports Corporation plays where NAC owns the airport facilities and charge fees on the users.

“We do not handle cargo nor do we check the cargos that transit through our ports.”

Alphonse said security is audited by the US coastguard and certified under the International Ship & Port Facilities Code.

“I want all stakeholders in the country to know we are doing our very best to ensure all cargos transiting through our ports are safe and secure.

“Our security operation in Lae is a very good example where we have been able to detect several cases of drug smuggling between the mainland and Islands region.”

Security personnel have worked with police, resulting in the confiscation of a huge amount of illicit drugs, marijuana and the arrest of the smugglers.

Alphonse added that security personnel on the ground are always ready to assist PNG Customs and the NAQIA carry out their duties as and when required.

(Filepic of Lae harbour)

Cedric Patjole