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Emergency aid supplies worth $1m pa’anga have been donated after Cyclone Gita

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/04/2018

Individual emergency aid supplies worth $ 1m pa’anga have been donated to Tonga from families and friends abroad since the government introduces the tax and duty exemption in the wake of Cyclone Gita.

The Head of Customs Division – Kelemete Vahe says, their latest data shows since February to last week more than 2500 pieces were sent to the country, labelled as assistance following the cyclone.

The assistance include drums of goods, cartons and boxes from the US, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.

The amount of duty and tax exempted is estimated at around 300 thousand pa’anga.

Vahe says, there are few challenges they face due to the limited space at the wharf and at the same time some people fail to pick up their cargo upon arrival.

He says, some only came to pick up their cargo when their names are announced on the radio.

With the limited resources for inspection, Vahe urges the public not to misuse this opportunity to import items such as alcohol.

He also highlights the significance for the people not to abuse this opportunity by getting bulky items for commercial purposes.

The Government approved in February to exempt all duty and tax for all personal emergency aid supplies for six months after Cyclone Gita made landfall in Tongatapu.

© Radio and Television Tonga News