The acting commissioner of Inland Revenue in Papua New Guinea says there is nothing she can do to help an Australian couple who have to pay 8,000 US dollars on a car they donated to charity.
Sydneysiders Edward and Alvina Renyard sent a 1993 Mitsubishi Pajero to Caritas in Madang to help the work of aiding Manam Islanders displaced by volcano eruptions.
Mrs Renyard's relatives are among the displaced people.
But acting inland revenue head, Betty Palaso, says all imported vehicles, even those bound for charities are subject to duty.
"I think it's just unfortunate that Internal Revenue Commissioner was not consulted before these things were brought in. Otherwise we would have advised them that duty would be applicable on this vehicle."
Betty Palaso says she feels for the Renyards but she cannot work outside the law.