Revenue by the Customs Department in 2018 rose by €20.4 million over 2017, and the biggest driver of the increase was the importation of materials for the construction industry.

The department said on Wednesday that its revenue last year was €447,399,157.

Although there was a slight decrease in import duties, income from excise duties saw an increase of €10.5 million over 2017, with a sharp spike in excise duty pertaining to construction items and materials.

VAT collected by the Customs Department on behalf of the VAT Department during 2018 also increased by nearly €12.5 million.

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Customs inspectors last year also seized a record amount of illegal items including 56,612,956 contraband cigarettes and 16,209,2kgs of narcotics. 

During the year the department introduced a new canine unit and commissioned new scanning equipment at the Freeport.

It also beefed up its human resources complement and increased the number of enforcement operations in a bid to curb illegal excise-goods importation. 

  

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