Important notices & updates

This section provides regular information about changes happening in the Customs Service. Here you will find alerts on such things as updates to regulations, details of website changes, notes on revisions to standard forms and documents, and general notices signposting what’s new and what’s happening.

This description was last updated on: Friday, 25 November 2016 .

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JBMS Release 10 outage 7–8 April 2017

Date created: Friday, 07 April 2017

​Contingency plans for industry during the R10 Outage.

Annual Passenger Survey 2017

Date created: Wednesday, 22 March 2017

​Within the next week we are launching our annual passenger survey that helps us to research ways of improving service delivery at the border. We survey a random sample of people who have entered New Zealand over the last year, both New Zealanders and visitors. Participants are being contacted by email only, using the email address provided on their arrival card.

Rules of Origin — 2017 versions now published

Date created: Thursday, 23 February 2017
​​Rules of origin under New Zealand’s free trade agreements (FTAs) and closer economic partnership agreements (CEPs) establish the manufacturing or value thresholds required to qualify for the preferential tariff treatment offered under those agreements.

​​New levy rates will apply to the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Goods) Levy on 1 January 2017. The Climate Change (Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levies) Amendment Regulations 2016 (Schedule 2) provides for the levy rate changes. The 2017 levy rates have increased substantially from the 2016 rates. Further information is available from the Ministry for the Environment.

Christmas - clearance rush and counter hours

Date created: Friday, 25 November 2016

​See how you can help Customs clear your goods during the Christmas rush, and our public counter hours during the holiday period.

​​The annual indexation increase to excise and excise-equivalent duty rates together with a separate 10 percent increase will take place on 1 January 2017.

​​Immigration New Zealand has made changes to the list of countries eligible for the Visa Waiver scheme. As of 21 November 2016, these changes will affect visitors travelling to New Zealand on South African, Mauritian and Seychelles passports.

WELLINGTON CUSTOMERS: Wellington Customhouse is closed

Date created: Monday, 14 November 2016

Wellington public who need to access Customs client services please call 04 901 4839 or email

This is a reminder for licensed manufacturers of alcohol, particularly in the Wellington, Wairarapa, and Nelson Marlborough regions that may be affected by the Hanmer earthquake.

Upcoming Regulation changes to streamline alcohol excise

Date created: Thursday, 10 November 2016

​Over the last eighteen months Customs has worked with representatives from the beer, wine and spirits industry around proposed changes to the excise system as part of the Review of the Customs and Excise Act 1996. Cabinet has agreed to a number of changes that will streamline, modernise and improve assurance over the collection of excise. These changes are likely to come into effect on 1 February 2017

Revised Tariff from 1 January 2017

Date created: Thursday, 03 November 2016

​Every five years the World Customs Organization (WCO) revises the Harmonized System (HS) to improve it and accommodate advances in technology and changes in the patterns of world trade. The latest edition of the HS, which is due to take effect from 1 January 2017 has been released.

Certificate of Origin data for export entries to China

Date created: Friday, 16 September 2016

​On 1 October 2016, a change to the Customs Export Entry Rules 1997 will come into effect. It will be necessary to enter the Certificate of Origin (COO) number (where issued) in the export entry declaration for goods exported to China under the New Zealand–China Free Trade Agreement, where tariff preference is requested.

Annual Goods Survey 2016

Date created: Wednesday, 13 July 2016

​New Zealand Customs Service is launching its annual goods client survey. This helps us to continually improve our service delivery at the border and our customers’ experience.

Low value imports – update and next steps

Date created: Wednesday, 29 June 2016

​Imports of low-value goods (under $1000) into New Zealand have been growing steadily, especially with the rise of online shopping, and this is expected to continue. Customs has been exploring whether it is possible to change the shape and level of the de minimis – the level under which tax is not collected for imported (physical) goods.

New Zealand Customs Service has considered the Tariff Classification of men’s or boys’ swimwear made from woven textile materials. Customs considers that although such swimwear may be used for other incidental purposes unrelated to swimming, for example, boating, volleyball, etc, this does not change its character as swimwear.

New excise duty rates for alcohol from 1 July 2016

Date created: Friday, 03 June 2016

​​The annual adjustment to the excise and excise-equivalent duty rates on alcoholic beverages will take place on 1 July 2016.

​The annual adjustment to the levy rates on alcoholic beverages will take place on 1 July 2016.

​The PEFML levy will increase on 1 July 2016 to 0.2 cents per litre (up from the existing rate of 0.045 cents per litre). The levy applies to petroleum or engine fuel that is specified in the Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table as a type of motor spirit, diesel, biodiesel, and ethyl alcohol (fuel).

​​This week we will launch the second round of our annual passenger survey which helps us to continually improve service delivery at the border.

​The reference 75 concession allows limited duty free entry of presents or gifts, except tobacco products, sent from abroad to a resident in New Zealand. This concession is intended to cover gifts of a personal nature, sent from a person overseas, rather than a company or business.

Annual Passenger Survey 2016

Date created: Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Customs is launching its annual passenger survey which helps to continually improve service delivery at the border.

New Border Clearance Levy

Date created: Friday, 18 December 2015

​A Border Clearance Levy comes into effect on 1 January 2016 to fund border clearance activities to help keep New Zealand safe from harmful pests, people and dangerous substances, and maintain current levels of service.

Christmas hours and processes

Date created: Thursday, 17 December 2015

Customs' operating hours and processes temporarily change over the holiday period. This relates to public counters, out-of-hours clearance, mail and cargo clearance, and the deferred payment scheme schedule.

Payments by Diners and AMEX credit cards

Date created: Tuesday, 15 December 2015

​Starting 1 January 2016, New Zealand Customs Service will no longer be accepting payments through Diners and AMEX credit cards.

​​New levy rates will apply to the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Goods) Levy on 1 January 2016. The levy applies to a range of imported goods including fridges, freezers, heat pumps, air-conditioners, and refrigerated trailers. Synthetic greenhouse gas goods imported after midnight on 31 December 2015 will be subject to the new rates.