Papua New Guinea (PNG) offers a number of products that are in great demand overseas. The good news is that with the correct permits and licences a company or individual can export almost anything out of PNG.

So what should you know about exporting from PNG?

Who will be exporting?

If you are not a PNG citizen, or your company is not 50% wholly owned or controlled by PNG citizens then it will be necessary to obtain Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) for a certificate to conduct the export business in PNG.

If you have a PNG individual or local company that is ready to export their products to you then you should always conduct some due diligence before you enter into any contract or transfer any funds. You can conduct free PNG company searches at the IPA website. At this stage bankruptcy and litigation searches can only be conducted in person at the National Court in Port Moresby.

Terms of sale

It is not uncommon for PNG exporters to request that their product be delivered Ex Works (EXW). Under this term the importer is required to collect the goods from the exporter's premises or another named place. This term is often requested because it represents the minimum obligation for the exporter.

Freight & insurance

The cost of freight and insurance can be particularly expensive from PNG. You should enquire with freighting companies for the best rates.

There are several ways of exporting a product from PNG. These are:

By air

For example:

  • Fedex
  • TNT
  • Air Niugini
  • EMS Postal Service

By sea

For example:

  • Pacific Cargo Services
  • Swire Shipping
  • PNG Shipping Agencies
  • Steamships

Further certification for some export products

Some items require further documentation. Below is a list of some of those items and certification requirements that may be needed:

PNG round logs

  • Export Licence – Issued by the Trade Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade upon recommendation from the Forestry Minister.
  • Export Permit – Ministry of Forests and Climate Change.
  • Tally and Summary sheet – PNG National Forest Authority.

Sandalwood & sawn timber/veneer

  • Export Permit – Ministry of Forests and Climate Change.

Palm oil

  • Export Permit from the Department of Agriculture & Livestock.

Marine products

  • Export Permit from the National Fisheries Authority - such as lobsters, beche-de-mer, prawns, tuna and shark fin etc.


  • There are some artefacts that need permits from the PNG National Museum. You should always check with the National Museum before export.

Coffee & cocoa

  • Export licence from Coffee Industry Corporation.
  • Export licence from Cocoa Board of PNG.

Export clearance and duties

PNG quarantine laws require a Phytosanitary Certificate declaring that the goods for export have been inspected and are free from insects pests, diseases etc.

If your export attracts duty then this will need to be paid to the PNG Customs Office before the items can be exported.


Before your start importing products from PNG you should always have a qualified lawyer:

  • conduct due diligence on the proposed PNG exporter.
  • confirm if IPA certification is required.
  • review any proposed contract.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.