Guidance on the term “en route to New Zealand” in respect of the Russia Sanctions Regulations 2022
Customs have developed guidance on the expression "en route to New Zealand" to assist in answering any queries on the topic of sanctions on Russia.
From 25 April 2022 goods of Russian origin attract a 35 percent import tariff:
- Goods “en route to New Zealand” prior to 25 April 2022 are exempt
- Country of export / date of departure from Russia not an exempting factor
- Importers claiming the exemption need to provide documentation to validate that the goods were “en route to New Zealand” prior to 25 April 2022
Goods of Russian origin en route to New Zealand prior to 25 April 2022 are exempt the 35 percent import tariff which applies to such goods.
The import tariff is not dependent on country of export but country of origin.
Country of export is determined as the country from which the goods are supplied, so does not include “transit” countries through which the goods may pass while destined for New Zealand.
The date the goods departed Russia is not of any relevance to this exemption, except as far as the date of export from any exporting country may assist in determining exemption eligibility.
“En route to New Zealand” meaning
In the context of the exemption, “en route to New Zealand” means
- The decision to transport the goods to an importer in New Zealand has been made prior to 25 April 2022 AND
- The goods have commenced the journey to the importer in New Zealand prior to 25 April 2022.
The goods may still be physically still in the country of export however must have departed the point of supply.
What evidence will be required from importers to validate their claim for the exemption?
Importers wishing to claim this exemption need to be able to demonstrate the decision has been made that the goods are destined for New Zealand
Examples of evidence of this may include an invoice between the overseas supplier and the New Zealand importer dated prior to 25 April 2022
Importers also need to provide evidence the goods have been despatched from the point of supply prior to 25 April 2022.
Examples of evidence of the journey having commenced include waybills clearly showing the goods destined for New Zealand travelling from the point of supply after the date of invoice, and prior to 25 April.
Shipping routes may also be considered if they demonstrate the vessel transporting the goods left the country of export prior to 25 April 2022.
What can importers do to ensure exemption decision made as quickly as possible?
Importations seeking the exemption from the 35 percent import tariff are being assessed on a case by case basis by Customs.
Importers should upload clear evidence that the goods were “en route to New Zealand” prior to 25 April 2022 on Trade Single Window.
Evidence that the goods have departed the country of export prior to 25 April 2022, for delivery to New Zealand, will result in a quicker decision.
Evidence that the goods are still in the country of export but have left the point of supply may require further validation.
- Tariff applies to “goods of Russian origin” regardless of the date the goods left Russia.
- Importers need:
- documentation to validate that the goods were destined for New Zealand prior to 25 April 2022;
- documentation that the goods left the place of supply on the journey to New Zealand prior to 25 April 2022.