Papua New Guinea obtains 100% free market access to the European Union for all its products under the bilateral trade agreement (the Interim Economic Partnership iEPA). The idea is that free market access helps products “made in PNG” to find a lucrative market and helps to create jobs and income in Papua New Guinea.
In force since 2011, the agreement has resulted already in an increase of PNG exports to the EU to €987 million in 2012 (over 3 billion PGK), most of which is non-minerals exports (fisheries and marine resources, coffee, cocoa, tea, vegetable oils, spices and rubber) and in the creation of some 40,000 jobs in PNG in the fisheries sector alone. The Union has become Papua New Guinea’s second export market, accounting for 9.2% of total exports.
The objective of the mission from Europe was to train PNG Customs receive and strengthen capacity is built to improve on the way the trade agreement and particularly the rules of origin are implemented.
European Union customs and origin experts worked with their PNG customs counterparts to strengthen the systems in the interest of the country. The training also fostered closer collaboration between PNG Customs and the National Fisheries Authority, which also took part in this exercise.
One outcome has been that PNG customs officials have been made better aware of the requirements concerning the export of frozen fish, for which exporters need to comply fully with the procedures and exporters must follow the applicable declarations and certificates. This will not only guarantee that benefits of PNG fish accrues to Papua New Guinea but also help better control catches and fish stock conservation in PNG waters.
PNG Customs website http://www.customs.gov.pg/
European Union Delegation to Papua New Guinea website
PNG Customs officers at the forefront of the application of trade agreements
Testimonial (Christina Amos)
“My name is Christina Amos and I am the Director Tariff & Trade in PNG Customs. I have been working with PNG Customs for 16 years and love my profession as a Customs Officer.
As the Director, I am responsible to meet the objective of PNG Customs Corporate Plan in providing the correct tariff, valuation, excise, export and advance ruling advices in line with WCO best practices. Apart from these, I am also responsible for the implementation of Government policy directives on trade facilitation and promote trade and investment by uniform application of import, excise, export Tariff Act and other Customs Act and Legislation both domestically and internationally. It is very challenging at times but I like it and perform to the best of my ability.
Customs implements the iEPA Agreement but for both Customs officers and stakeholders (exporters) we were confused on the accurate information required in the EUR 1 certificate and the conditions to determine whether the goods are originating or not. This workshop was an eye opener as we were able to clarify and correct ourselves. Also having other agencies involved in this workshop gave us a wider perspective of the roles they played in this Agreement. From this workshop, it has clarified things for me and has given me a better understanding of Protocol II in the iEPA Agreement. I am now in a better position to ensure that the conditions under Protocol II are met to determine the origin of the goods and the correct application of the EUR 1 are implemented.
After this workshop the Tariff & Trade Section has are lots of challenges set ahead which are:
1. Conduct Awareness workshops in the three respective regions for Customs Officers, other implementing agencies and Stakeholders (Exporters to EU member states) in regard to Protocol II.
2. Continuous Consultative workshop with other implementing agencies, example National Fisheries Authority (NFA).
3. Dissemination and co-ordination of the EUR 1 form to all respective Customs ports.
4. Follow up reviews in respective Customs Ports implementing the EUR 1 Certificate.
I am confident that we will achieve these results and would like to thank the EU Commission in assisting PNG Customs. PNG Customs will perform to its capacity in implementing the Protocol II under the iEPA Agreement.
This activity is the first of a series of activities of the EU funded Trade Related Assistance Programme to PNG. The TRA 2 program is implemented by PNG government under the leadership of the Department of Trade Commerce and Industry.
Follow up training sessions are being organised throughout the country targeted at regional customs officers and exporters.
The European Union will continue to work closely with PNG to help draw the maximum benefit out of the trade agreement for sustainable “green” development.
Facts and figures:
EU contribution to the Trade Related Assistance programme to PNG is EUR 6 million out of 6,710,000 EUR.
Duration 2014 – 2018.
Beneficiaries: the main target groups are PNG trade institutions and implementing agencies; in a broader sense, all PNG people will benefit from being better integrated into the world’s trade, ultimately leading to socio economic development and job creation.
Starting date 6 April 2014