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The New Zealand Customs Service is the government organisation that protects the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods across the border. Established in 1840, it is New Zealand’s oldest government agency.

As New Zealand's gatekeepers our role includes intercepting contraband (such as illegal drugs); checking travellers and their baggage cargo and mail; protecting businesses against illegal trade; and assessing and collecting Customs duties, excise, and goods and services tax on imports.

Customs works closely with other border agencies, in particular the Ministry for Primary Industries and Immigration New Zealand.

It is not uncommon for the functions of Customs to be confused with those of the Ministry for Primary Industries, in particular biosecurity. Biosecurity is the responsibility of the Ministry for Primary Industries and any queries in relation to biosecurity should be directed to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Contact us

Media – If you are a member of the media with an enquiry please email our communications team or phone us on +64 21 823 708. Please note, the email address is only for enquiries from the media. It is monitored during normal business hours 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday. 

For any urgent media enquires outside of normal office hours please call the media phone on +64 21 823 708.

You may also phone our main reception on 04 901 4500 during the day or, after hours, our Group Manager Communications may be contacted on +64 29 462 0317.

Biosecurity – for any information relating to agricultural or biosecurity please contact the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Public – If you are a member of the public and have a query please phone our contact centre on 0800 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786) or email

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Last updated: Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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