Modernising the Customs and Excise Legislation

In 2013, Customs embarked on a process of modernising our legislation.

Following a public consultation process and a lot of input from our customers, a Customs and Excise Bill was introduced into Parliament in late 2016.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee considered the Bill and it is awaiting its second reading. After the Bill is read a second time, it will progress to the Committee of the Whole House stage and then to its third reading after which it can be signed by the Governor General (this is called Royal Assent). At this point, the Bill becomes an Act.

Currently most of the provisions in the new Act are scheduled to come into effect on 1 April 2018 or six months after the date of Royal Assent, whichever is later

New Regulations for alcohol and tobacco came into force in February 2017.

About the Customs and Excise Bill

The new Bill:

  • modernises the current Act so that it is ‘fit for  purpose’ for our present and future operating environment

  • addresses some of the known pain-points generated under the current Act

  • introduces some new services


An implementation programme is underway to ensure that the changes contained in the Bill are progressed at the same time as the Bill. This will ensure we are ready to implement the new Act as soon as it comes into effect.

We are working with stakeholders to inform the guidance and information resources to help customers understand the changes, what they mean, and what they may need to do. Regulations and Rules are also being developed to support the implementation of the Bill.


If you have specific questions about the review, or any of the decisions made, please contact the Implementation Team at  

Further Information

This description was last updated on: Monday, 18 September 2017