Modernising the 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 Bill passed its second reading on 5 December 2017 and the next stage will be the Committee of the whole House debate.

After the Committee of the Whole House stage the Bill will go for 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