August 7, 2020 — Today marks the completion of the modification and upgrade works on the new customs brokers office at Queen Salote Wharf in Ma’ufanga, Nuku’alofa.
On behalf of the project contractor, Oregon Pacific International, Mr. ‘Ilaisia Tukuafu, handed over the keys for the new facility to the Authority’s Acting General Manager for Infrastructure and Technical Services, Mr. Andrew Niukapu following the completion of the work. The design and supervision services for this project were carried out by Mr. Lisiate Tupou and Quality Design Ltd.
The new office facility consists of six offices which will occupy by six different Brokers to provide customers with all their broker related services in one location. The new office also comes with a public convenient for the brokers and all the customers who visited the Authority’s Bonded Warehouse. In addition, a proper waiting area is now available to accommodate customers while waiting.
Despite the major challenges of COVID-19 and its impact on the Authority’s cash flow position, the Authority still managed to finance this project from its cash flow with a total cost of around $650k.The initial time line for the construction work was September 2020, but the contractor did a marvelous job and completed the project by almost two months ahead of the proposed time line.
The new office facility is a continuous effort by the Authority to improve its Customer Services by moving the Customs Brokers office side by side with the Authority’s Bonded Warehouse. This will avoid the customers(consignees) from having to visit three locations (Bonded Warehouse, Broker’s office, Customs office) to clear their cargoes. The location of the Customs Brokers at the Bonded Warehouse will reduce customer’s movement to only two. To achieve the objective of the One-Stop-Shop, the Authority hopes that in the near future, a Customs cashier will also be available in the Authority’s Bonded Warehouse.
In addition, this investment was also intended to generate extra revenue for the Authority. It is estimated that the total revenue to be generated from renting out the new customs broker’s office is around $70k per annum.
The old brokers office will be dismantled and the Authority intends to develop the area and work towards achieving its 20-year Master Plan.
The CEO, Mr. ‘Alo Maileseni said, “I am pleased that this project has completed and the great job that the Contractor delivered which resulted in the high standard of the building that we witness here today. Above all, they have managed to complete the work well before the initial time line which shows good planning, effective coordination and better control during the implementation phase”.
He added, “I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to the main Contractor, Oregon Pacific International, and the Supervisor who was also the Architect, Mr. Lisiate Tupou as well as the Acting General Manager of Infrastructure and Technical Services Mr. Andrew Niukapu for your hard work and dedication towards this project”. The project completed in time prior to the peak season of the year which is usually from October to December.