Who They Are
Customs and Inland Revenue, namely CIR, is a large and diverse department with over 90 employees spread across Vanuatu. There are offices in both Port Vila and Luganville and also in all provincial centers in Lenakel, Lakatoro, Saratamata and Sola. The CIR structure comprises of the Director and the two Deputy Directors, one of which is the Deputy Director Revenue and the other the Deputy Director of Enforcement and Services.
Customs & Inland Revenue is responsible for managing the security and integrity of Vanuatu’s borders, that is , detecting and deterring the unlawful movement of goods and people across the border.
Customs works closely with other agencies, in particular the Vanuatu Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Department of immigration and the Vanuatu Police Service.
Customs and Inland Revenue powers are set out in Acts of Parliament; namely: The import duties (Consolidation) Act (Cap 91), the Customs Act No.15 of 1999, the Customs Valuation Act No.8 of 1999, the Business License Act No.19 of 1998, The Rent Tax Act (Cap 196), The Casino (Control) Act No.6 of 1993, The Liquor Licensing Act (Cap52), The Gaming Control Act (172), The Road Traffic (Control) act (Cap 29), the Value Added Tax Act No.12 of 1998 and the Excise Tax Act.
What They Do
The Customs and Inland Revenue (CIR) is the government agency with the job of protecting the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods across the border.
They do this by:
Intercepting contraband (such as illegal drugs);
Checking travellers and their baggage, cargo and mail;
Assessing and collecting Customs duties, Value Added Tax (VAT), and other taxes applicable by law;
Protecting Vanuatu businesses against illegal trade;
Enforcing import and export restrictions and prohibitions;
Collecting accurate import and export data.
As Vanuatu's gatekeepers, they use intelligence and risk assessment to target their physical checks of containers, vessels or travelers. They also conduct investigations and audits, and prosecute offenders.
They work closely with the other border agencies, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Quarantine Service and the Immigration Service. They also work closely with community leaders and the Police Force.