The National- Friday, January 21, 2011
By VERONICA FRANCIS
THE member for Ijivitari, David Arore confirmed with The National yesterday that his office has settled the Customs duties for the vessel mv Ijivitari on Wednesday.
It is understood that the PNG Customs Services impounded mv Ijivitari last week for failing to pay Customs duties of about K200,000, while its captain and crew were slapped with a substantial fine by Customs for failing to adhere to remain in Vanimo until duty was paid.
“I want to make it clear that everything is settled and looking positive for the normal operations of the vessel,” Arore said.
He said the vessel will return to its normal business, adding there will be a maiden trip along the coast line to bring students who are going back to school in Popondetta.
Arore said that mv Ijivitari will continue to run its normal route and that is from Lae, Popondetta, Alotau and Port Moresby, adding it will also call in all small ports in Oro.
“We are now preparing for the launching of the vessel, which is scheduled for next,” he said.
However, Customs Commissioner Gary Juffa said yesterday during a press conference that he is not aware of any duties paid to Customs from the office of the member for Ijivitari.
He said laws had been broken and penalties will apply, adding the vessel would remain impounded until all duties are paid.
“Duty belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea. Duty needs to be paid to ensure that the Government’s revenue stream is not affected,” he said.
He added that if there was any confusion, there must be an effort to contact Customs and seek clarification and assistance.