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Tariff Concessions: A response to the COVID-19 event

03.48pm 27 March 2020

The Government is exploring options to help ensure the unimpeded supply to New Zealand of critical products, during this unprecedented event surrounding COVID-19.

New Zealand Customs is supporting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in achieving this goal and two new tariff concessions (Concessions Approval Notice 11) have been approved. A summary of these concessions, is as follows:

  • Concession 311042H: Soap, of a kind suitable for use in the COVID-19 event
  • Concession 311043F: goods covered by this concession include both:
    • COVID-19 testing kits
    • Diagnostic reagents, of a kind suitable for COVID-19 testing

These concessions have been established under the Special Situation category of Concession Reference 99. It is important to note that other concessions do currently exist for various different diagnostic reagents and testing kits. The intention of this action is to create a concession that clearly signals that concessionary entry is available to testing kits and diagnostic reagents that are being imported to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

As these concessions fall within the Special Situation category, they will not appear in the Consolidated List of Approvals. There is a practical benefit to this, in that a new print of the Consolidated List of Approvals will not be required in this time of disruption. However, Customs will endeavour to maintain a public list of these concessions and any other concessions that are created for the same purpose.

In normal circumstances, a Special Situation concession would be limited to a specific importer. It would impractical at this time to make a requirement for these concessions and as such, the decision has been made to remove that particular limitation from these concessions. This would allow the entire industry to utilise these concession, rather than specific importers who had approached Customs.

One limitation will remain, which is the concessions will be limited to a specific timeframe. However, it is important to note that preparations have been made around extending this timeframe, dependant on how the current situation progresses.

Please note that as with other concessions under the Concession Reference 99, these concessions are only capable of removing the duty element of the import charges.

If any Importers or Customs Brokers have questions about these concessions, please contact