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Valuation rulings

Customs can now make binding rulings on the value of imported goods.


What do you need to know?

  • Until now, Customs has only been able to make rulings on the tariff and excise classification of goods, the interpretation of a tariff concession and the origin of goods.
  • The ability for Customs to now make valuation rulings provides legal certainty for importers about the method used to determine the value of their goods.
  • In making valuation rulings, Customs uses methods that are set out in the Act and which follow the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
  • Importers need to apply to Customs for a valuation ruling, and will need to pay for it, although Customs will cover some of the costs.
  • Applications should be made before goods are imported into New Zealand, but Customs will consider post-importation requests on a case by case basis.
  • Customs has a maximum of 150 days to make the ruling. Once the ruling is given, it is valid for up to three years.
  • Importers will be provided with a draft report before the ruling is issued to ensure the accuracy of information.
  • In some cases, Customs will also look to publish rulings, including valuation rulings.
  • Customs will check with applicants before publishing a ruling, and will ensure no private or commercially sensitive information is published.
  • The service will be reviewed two years after implementation.

Who does this impact?

  • Importers and their agents
  • Brokers.

What is the impact?

  • Importers can choose to use this new service where they are unsure of how to value their imported goods.
  • Valuation rulings provide certainty to importers so that they know how to accurately value their goods at the time of importation.
  •  Importers will need to pay for the costs incurred by Customs in reaching a binding valuation ruling. This covers an application fee, an hourly charge and recovery of agreed expenses (for example, the cost of obtaining external advice).  The hourly charge is set at 80 percent of the expected actual cost of making the ruling. The remaining 20 percent of the costs will be met by Customs.
  • Customs is legally required to reach a decision within 150 days.

More information