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By Geralinda Warre

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 30) – Papua New Guinea has lost a lot of money through import "double invoicing" over the years, Internal Revenue Commission officials have said.

But IRC Commissioner General David Sode refused to put a figure on the loss incurred through this method of fraud by importers, saying it was difficult to do so.

Mr Sode and Acting Commissioner for Customs, Paul Iramu, appeared on the FM100 "Good Governance" Talkback Show on Tuesday night to explain the tax office's role and functions.

In double invoicing, two invoices are made for an item bought overseas and brought into PNG. The fake invoice is usually cheaper and state prices lower than the actual value on the item, which is presented to customs.

"This is where PNG is cheated out of the revenue it was supposed to have gained," Mr Iramu explained, adding that the IRC is working hard to prevent this from happening. Efforts are also being made to have strict regulations and legislation in place to counter these practices.

Post audits are also being done where customs officials visit shops to check on the prices of suspected imported items.

"We have power to do this, and we are doing more of this now," Mr Sode said.

He also suggested placing roving ambassadors in countries where PNG has major trade agreements, and whose jobs would be to do spot checks on prices of goods in those countries and advice IRC when necessary.October 1,2004

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