Customs Regulations amendment - changes to time of import entry lodgement 1/02/2013

In December 2012, four Customs regulations were amended by the Customs and Excise Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2012. The amendments as summarised below will take effect from 1 February 2013. 

Regulation 21 – allowing import entries to be made earlier

An amendment to Regulation 21 follows consultation with industry since 2010. It removes the restriction on the earliest time that an entry for imported goods can be made. From 1 February 2013, an import entry can be submitted any time prior to the arrival of the goods in New Zealand, whether they are transported by sea or air. 

Before this week’s change, Regulation 21 required import entries for sea freight to be lodged no earlier than five days prior to arrival, and import entries for air freight to be lodged no earlier than 24 hours prior to arrival.  Note that the requirement to make an entry for goods no later than 20 days after arrival in New Zealand has not changed.

Effect of the amendment

From 1 February 2013, clients can lodge import entries at any time before the date of importation for the consignment. As long as all mandatory fields are complete and all data passes normal validation checks, the entry will be processed and a response message provided as usual.

Customs and MPI will apply monitoring techniques to check the validity of entries lodged outside normal time parameters.

Benefits for Industry and Agencies

Industry members have long been keen to have more time before the arrival of consignments to submit import entries for airfreight, and Customs undertook to address the enablement of this as part of the JBMS Programme.

Allowing entries to be lodged as early as possible is also consistent with Customs and MPI’s joint Principles of Trade Management. It enables both Customs and MPI to manage risk at the earliest opportunity, and where viable, prevent the off shore loading of goods that will not be allowed into New Zealand. This will avoid the risks and costs associated with managing such goods on arrival.

Confirming the status of carnets

There have also been two minor amendments to confirm the status of Carnets. The definition of a Carnet has been added to regulation 26 (imported goods deemed to be entered), and a consequential amendment has been to regulation 29 (goods for export exempt from entry).


If you have any questions about these amendments, please contact Customs' National Contact Centre.

This page was last updated on: Tuesday, 21 April 2015 .

Important notices & updates - Customs Regulations amendment - changes to time of import entry lodgement