The Prime Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs & Immigration, Dr the Hon Feleti V Sevele, will officially launch the new departure card for the Kingdom of Tonga at the Immigration Hall of the Departure Terminal, Fua'amotu Airport on Friday 3rd December, 2010.
All departing passengers from the Kingdom of Tonga, will now be required to complete a departure card as part of the airport security processes for departing the Kingdom.
The project which commenced in 2009, has been made possible with the generous assistance of the Australian Government, which granted to Government a grant of AUD$250,000 to assist in implementing the new departure card and revising the current arrival card. The money from that grant has been used for upgrading the software on the Border Management System specially designed for the Kingdom's immigration authorities; design and printing of the cards and the updating and revision of relevant legislation related to its implementation.
The data captured from the departure card will assist Government in:-
- Identifying valuable and accurate statistics for tourists; including preferred local destinations in the Kingdom and revenue raised from the tourist sector;
- It will also assist in security measures to ensure that the relevant Financial and Banking laws of the Kingdom are properly enforced;
- It also reminds all departing passengers of the articles of Tongan culture that cannot be removed from the Kingdom (eg clubs, arrows), raw coral;
The Prime Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs & Immigration will also show case the newly revised arrival cards, which will be implemented shortly under the same project. The arrival cards have been revised to capture data that will again assist the Government in identifying more accurately the figures of tourists entering the country, their preferred accommodation and local destinations in the Kingdom. It will also encapsulate the newly updated and more secure legislative procedures of the Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Acts.
The project was undertaken by a Committee composed of relevant Government departments:- The Prime Minister's Office, Customs and Inland Revenue, Quarantine, The National Reserve Bank of Tonga, the Statistics Department, the Tourism Ministry, and other relevant Stakeholders. The project coordination, administration and implementation was undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration.
Issued by: Prime Minister's Office, Nuku'alofa, 2010