Submitting your export entry clearance

Customs requires that all export entry clearances or Electronic Cargo Information (ECI) be lodged prior to exporting. Your clearances must be submitted electronically on the internet using the Customs online declarations website, or by buying or installing software and submitting using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). 

The clearance can be done either by yourself, or by a customs broker, agent or freight forwarder on your behalf.  

Our online declarations website is more suitable for smaller exporters, whilst EDI is more suitable for larger, more frequent exporters. You must be registered to use both.

Before you can submit your export entry clearance or ECI electronically, you need to have the following:

  • A client code if your goods are valued at NZ$1,000 or more.
  • A declarant code and unique user identifier (UUI).
  • Registration with Electronic Commerce Network (ECN).

Find out more about getting yourself ready to submit an export entry clearance

This description was last updated on: Monday, 18 August 2014

Detailed information related to Submitting your export entry clearance

To lodge import or export entry clearances using the Customs Online Declarations website or EDI, you need to be registered. Once registered and approved you will be issued with a Customs declarant code and a unique user identifier (UUI), which works like a PIN number. Under the Customs and Excise Act 1996, as the registered user you will be responsible for all entries made under your UUI.

You may only have one declarant code and one UUI. The UUI may be transportable if you move from one business to another.

As a registered user you are required to take all reasonable precautions to keep your UUI confidential. If you consider your UUI number has been compromised, you will need to get in touch with your local Customs office or the National Contact Centre to arrange its cancellation and the issue of a new UUI.

To become a registered user of our online declarations website or EDI:

You may also be required to provide evidence of your ability to use the Customs computerised entry processing system – or undertake an assessment of competency with a Customs officer. 

If approved, we will let you know in writing and supply you with your Customs declarant code and unique user identifier (UUI), along with conditions for use.​

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Once you have received your declarant code and unique user identifier (UUI), you need to register with the Electronic Commerce Network (ECN) to handle your electronic transmissions. ECN is contracted by Customs to manage our online declarations website and to carry electronic declarations and responses between the website and you.

There is no charge to register, but you will be charged by ECN for the clearances that you submit.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012

​The Customs Online Declarations website allows you to clear your imports and export entry clearances over the internet. It is designed for regular importers and exporters, who have sufficient knowledge of Customs requirements – such as tariff classification, value or permit requirements.

Before using our online declarations website you need to have the following:

You can also use a freight forwarder or customs broker to lodge import and export clearances on your behalf.  

The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation (CBAFF) offer training courses which will allow you to lodge your own entries. Contact them on +64 9 419 0042 or email freighttrain@cbaff.org.nz for more information.

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) allows you to lodge your import or export entry clearances using software which is directly linked into our systems.

As a user of EDI, you are required to:

  • develop or purchase EDI software which contains features necessary to transmit CUSDEC (Customs declaration) messages and receive CUSRES (Customs response)
  • test proper functionality with Customs prior to use
  • pay for the EDI link and associated messaging costs.

EDI is most likely to be used by high-frequency importers and exporters. Messaging costs are cheaper than using the Customs Online Declarations website – but there are greater initial outlays.

You can find more information in EDI Message Implementation Guidelines.

For more information about EDI connections and network issues contact the Electronic Commerce Network directly.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012

You can register to receive email notifications regarding Customs Online Declarations website and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). You will be told of planned and unplanned outages and receive all other important information.

To join, go to http://www.nzcustoms.u1.co.nz/webforms/registration.htm to register. You can also use the form to change or update your details.

There is also an "Update profile" link at the bottom of each email you will receive that can be used to proceed.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012

You may engage the services of a customs broker, agent or freight forwarder to complete your import or export entry clearances.

If using a service you must be aware that any declarations or actions undertaken by them will be deemed also to have been made you. As the importer or exporter you may also be liable for any or all penalties or additional duties that are incurred by the broker in this clearance process – for example, additional duties where payment is not made by the due date.

Customs brokers and freight forwarders are listed in New Zealand business directories under those headings. A list of those affiliated to Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of New Zealand is available on their website.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012

SECTIONS for Submitting your export entry clearance