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Storing business records

Customers can now apply to store their Customs-related business records outside New Zealand, including in the cloud.


What do you need to know?

  • Until recently, Customs has allowed customers to store records in New Zealand only
  • Like Inland Revenue, Customs requires that customers, for example, excise clients, importers and exporters, store business records for seven years
  • Allowing these records to now be stored outside New Zealand, including in the cloud, is more in line with modern business practice and is a more cost effective storage method. It’s also in line with Inland Revenue’s requirements
  • Customers and third-party storage providers need to apply to Customs for permission to do this. Customs uses the same criteria as Inland Revenue for granting permission
  • Customs can authorise or decline authorisation for offshore storage, or set conditions about how records must be stored and how access can be obtained.

Who does this impact?

  • Anybody required to keep Customs-related records, i.e. invoices, shipping documents, bills of lading and order forms, and wants to keep them outside New Zealand and in the cloud
  • Third-party storage providers who are authorised by Inland Revenue. 

What is the impact?

  • Customers will have more flexibility in how to store their business records
  • Customers need to apply to Customs for authorisation to store records outside New Zealand and in the cloud
  • Approvals may have some conditions imposed on them
  • There is no separate cost to apply or process these applications
  • Customers must comply with all conditions and ensure that they present business records to Customs when they are requested.

More information