Moving to PNG - Have you shipped your belongings?

Hello, dear PNG veterans. I am a new kid on the blog - actually not yet in PNG, just about to sign a contract. Please help me - what is your experience shipping goods to PNG? I would love to bring a few items from Europe, from my photo equipment to the indispensable kids' toys. How long did it take and have you had any troubles with the customs? Or is shipping to PNG a bad idea? Thanks in advance for your tips and memories.

Welcome to Vosa!


Welcome and good luck on your big move.

I moved to PNG 5 months ago from Australia. I am on a tiny island in the New Ireland Province, north east of Port Moresby.

Our container took 3 weeks to arrive in PNG, and then another week to arrive on my island.

Yet I still do not have it.

We have had never ending issues with customs - but the problem being that we arrived during the period of transition for customs as they were changing all their policies and procedures. We had to fill out paper work, they said they were the wrong forms (THEY gave them to us) so that delayed a week. Then they gave us other paperwork, approved it and demanded k80,000 ($35,000 AUD), turns out they registered us as a business importer. Delayed another week.

Then they gave us more forms, we signed, they said they were wrong (notice a pattern here) then said the original forms were the correct ones. Delayed another week.

Then we got the big bosses of the mining company who we are with involved. More forms. Yet they didnt deliver the container.

Delayed another week.

More forms. Yet they didnt deliver.
Delayed another week.

Then the containers were delivered and customs was supposed to arrive the following day to open them.

That was 2 weeks ago.

My husband is at the customs office today to find out what is going on.

I have been here for 5 weeks using a blunt second hand knife and a dinner plate as my chopping board.

I am sick and tired of it and really considering forcing them to pay to send it back to Australia, and my plane ticket to follow it.

A bit over it at the moment, which is a shame because I love living here, but ridiculous things like this make you hate it.

Better get used to it, there is no 'right' government here and all they want are bribes...

Good luck!


Im engaged to a PNG Lady. Sad to say PNG has to be the most corrupt country in south pacific, most public servants in customs are always lookn 4 bribes, ant items technical in checked luggage will mysteriously disappear. when buyn plane tickets from a airline or travel agent in PNG they will increase the price dramatically for their commission, always buy tickets from tyravel agent outside PNG. when shipping a container into PNG they will look for a way to delay so u will offer K1000 to just tear up the time wasting endleaa paperwork...basically they know anyone who is a legit person shipping their own furnishings electrical etc they know u can afford to pay another K1000 to have ur good quality things...they are very cunning people...

Hi Mates,

I agree with Chris on his statements, I am living and working here in PNG for almost 5 years now and I see the growth of PNG backwards red tapes and corruptions are clearly floored to you.. I am currently taking up my masters degree in University of Liverpool and ordering my books from UK it took me 1 month to get my 3 books and charge with taxes and duties as terminal fee etc. they holding my book for clearance per se and said they are calling me on my mobile but I haven't received any calls from them just for them to clear my books you have to pay a certain amount without advising you..too bad I have to live with it.

hi guys,
how about shipping your belongings from PNG to your country? will it also undergo delay?


I am moving to PNG next month, I am looking for a way to avoid troubles (if it is possible).  I heard I should use a company( which I am still looking) which has branches in Australia and PNG.
Yes,emwaaah, I heard lots of stories similar to yours not only in PNG, it happens in Sydney too!  Please do not move back as I am coming! :)