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Provisional values

Certain importers can now declare provisional values for their goods at the time of importation, when final values may not be known. The value can be finalised at a later date.

What do you need to know?

  • Anyone who imports goods into New Zealand is required to declare the value of the goods to Customs.
  • However, it can sometimes be difficult for an importer to declare a final value at the point of importation, as values can change later on. For example, royalty amounts are based on sales volumes, which often aren’t known at the time of importation, but still need to be factored into the valuation.
  • As a result, the new legislation now allows some importers to declare a provisional value at the time of importation.
  • Importers wishing to use provisional values on their import entries must first register with Customs, and in some cases be approved first. You can register as a commercial importer to start using provisional values on 1 October 2018.
  • The provisional value must be a reasonable estimate of what the importer considers the final value will be.
  • A final Customs value only needs to be declared within 12 months after the end of the importer’s current financial year.
  • This means that importers can adjust the valuation amount once they have all the required information, without penalties being imposed – provided it is within the prescribed timeframe.
  • This also provides importers with more certainty when it comes to paying duty.

Who does this impact?


  • Those who automatically qualify because of certain circumstances but who still need to initially apply to Customs:
    • they are party to a transfer pricing agreement, have a binding ruling in place with Inland Revenue, and who as a result of this ruling are unable to provide a final value at the time of import
    • the value of their goods is determined under the Transaction Value Method and there are royalty or licence fees payments, which may not be able to be finalised at the time of importation, to be added to the transaction value
    • the value of their goods is determined under the Transaction Value Method and there are proceeds of any subsequent resale, disposal or use of the goods that are to be accrued to the seller.
  • Those who have applied and been approved to use provisional values.

What is the impact?

  • The new process is clearer to follow, more transparent and more flexible for importers.
  • However, the process for declaring a provisional value and updates to Customs is only available in certain circumstances.
  • Any importer who wants to use the provisional value scheme needs to register with Customs.
  • Some importers will automatically qualify but they still need to register
  • It is important to remember that the most accurate and final information possible should be declared on an import entry.
  • The new rules take modern business practice and the realities of trade into account, while balancing the need for Customs to obtain accurate and timely valuation information for revenue collection, risk management and statistical purposes.

More information