Finance to implement two-phase customs fee hike

STARTING on Oct. 1, 2018, the Department of Finance will collect a $3.50 customs and quarantine fee per passenger instead of $7 as originally proposed. The current fee is $1.

On Oct. 1, 2019, however, the $3.50 fee will be increased to $7.

Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson said her department took into consideration the comments provided by airline companies.

Finance, according to her memorandum, “will implement the $7 passenger fee in two phases to allow the airlines time to adjust their own fee schedules and fares and the passenger fee shall remain at $1 per arriving passenger. Effective Oct. 1, 2018, the fee will increase to $3.50 per passenger. The second and final increase to $7 per passenger [takes effect] on Oct. 1, 2019.”

Larson added, “We would like to emphasize that the need for increased enforcement at the ports and beyond is paramount. The fee increase is necessary to address the costs of enhancing the protection of our borders.”

In an interview, Larson said during a recent meeting with airline representatives, “it was established that communication was an issue and that’s why the airline companies cannot just implement a new and higher rate.”

She said the airlines agreed to a gradual increase. “They  need more time to communicate with their headquarters,” she added.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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