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CAA- temporary discretion to accept late appeals


Under the Customs and Excise Act 2018, the Customs Appeal Authority (the Authority) does not have discretion to accept appeals or requests for extension to the timeframe to lodge an appeal, after the statutory deadline has expired.  This created the potential that persons affected by a decision of the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service would lose their right to appeal against a decision, or to request an extension of time to appeal, through no fault on their part due to the effects of COVID-19.

The Epidemic Preparedness (Customs and Excise Act 2018 – Appeals) Immediate Modification Order 2020 provides the Authority with a temporary discretion to accept late appeals against decisions issued by the Chief Executive of Customs from individuals who were unable to lodge an appeal within the specified timeframe due to the effects of COVID-19.  The Authority’s discretion only applies to applications:

  • received no later than 20 working days after the Epidemic Notice expires or is revoked, and
  • where the Authority is satisfied that the applicant was unable to submit due to the effects of COVID-19 (eg, the individual being ill with COVID-19, unable to access premises for necessary records or seek legal advice).

Applicants who were unable to submit an appeal within the statutory deadline, and wish to do so, should contact the Customs Appeal Authority explaining your situation.  Information on submitting an appeal and contact details for the Authority is are available on the Ministry of Justice website.