9 Aug 2007

American Samoa senators accuse Customs of bad attitude towards duties

10:29 am on 9 August 2007

Two senators in American Samoa have accused the Customs Division of Treasury of having slack attitudes towards their duties.

The Senate President Lolo Moliga and Senator Alo Dr. Paul Stevenson claim the Customs Division failed to levy the correct excise tax on a shipment that surfaced in a recent Senate Select Investigative hearing.

The hearing concerns SSIC's school bus repair and spare parts probe, and the SSIC obtained invoices from Pacific Products regarding orders for spare parts for the DOE school buses.

Based on copies of the invoices held by the SSIC, the senators claim the government is losing revenue due to the inconsistent manner with which excise tax rates have been applied to imports.

In their letter to Customs, Lolo and Alo attached invoices from Pacific Products where they say the excise tax rate was applied on the per box basis, when it should have been applied on each individual item in the box.

They want to hear from Customs on why agents accepted the invoice from Pacific Products and how the excise tax rates were calculated.