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    Wednesday, September 20, 2017-4:13:36P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Customs: FY ’17 revenue collections up by $2.7 million

(Press Release) — Division of Customs Director Jose Mafnas announced another significant increase in revenue collections and fiscal year improvements between 2016 and 2017 following upgrades to detection equipment and operations.

“When comparing revenue collection from FY 2016 to 2017, the months of October to May collections have moved up by 8.4 percent which amounts to $2.7 million. This is a direct result of increased detections of undeclared products and re-evaluation of imported goods,” he said.

Mafnas noted that in addition to the increased detections and efficiency, the collection of outstanding accounts has improved.

“Strict enforcement, which has steadily progressed since last year has allowed our inspection process to increase revenue generation and allow our officers to better detect suspicious importations,” he said.

According to Secretary of Finance Larrisa Larson, the total amount of revenue collection from October to May 2017 amounts to a total of $33.8 million with four months left in FY 2017 to take into account.

“Scrutinizing the detection of undervalued high tax rate commodities, detection of undeclared commodities, and increasing the fines and sanctions of counterfeit goods have definitely benefited the economy. Our revenue collections from the Division of Customs have increased every fiscal year. In the same months of FY 2016, we collected $29.2 million and in FY 2015, $20 million was collected,” Larson said.

Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres said since the establishment of the Customs academy four years ago, operations have drastically improved.

“With the establishment of the academy and upgrades to the computer system, our seaports, airports, and postal offices and the added support of x-ray machines and the K9 detection units, so much has changed to safeguard our islands and improve our economy,” Governor Torres said.

He noted that more progress with the War on Ice is taking center stage.

“More often we are seeing custom officers intercept methamphetamine concealed in small containers that would’ve been difficult to detect in previous years. Our routine inspections at our commuter terminals with the K9 units have also been very successful,” Governor Torres said.

Mafnas said customs is regularly trained to ensure all officers are informed of new laws, regulations and various drug concealment methods.

Adding on to the changes since the War on Ice began, Mafnas said the division has also procured new equipment to analyze narcotics.

Customs has acquired new equipment to analyze narcotics.  Contributed photo

“The TruNarc identifies narcotics, stimulants and other drugs which provide our officers with clear definitive results for presumptive identification and quick interception. We will continue to be vigilant at the ports of entry to ensure that illegal drugs are seized and commodities and goods are accounted for,” he said.