Administrative reviews

Request an internal review of some decisions or assessments.


An administrative review is an internal review by Customs of a decision or assessment (see table below for the scope of decisions).

This service is available to duty payers who dispute a decision and seek to have it reviewed, paticularly for low value and non-complex cases. It is a free service and can be used instead of, or prior to, making an appeal to the Customs Appeal Authority.

Scope of administrative reviews

You can apply for an administrative review of the types of decisions or assessments outlined in the following table, and as specified in the Customs and Excise Act 2018.

Type of decision Relevant section of the Act
Amendments and (re)assessments of duty owing
Assessments of duty on goods not entered 113
Assessments of duty on alcohol and ethyl alcohol that would have been exempt from excise or excise-equivalent duty under a chief executive’s approval, had the approval conditions not been negligently or intentionally breached 114
Assessment of excise duty on beer or wine wrongly entered as exempt from duty on the grounds of personal use 115
Assessment of excise-equivalent duty on goods imported for further manufacture but otherwise dealt with 116
An assessment, or reassessment, made by Customs (including a provisional value or a final Customs value) 117
Assessments of duty where no entry received
Decision that duty is payable on goods missing or wrongfully removed from a Customs-controlled area 138
Demands for duty owing on cargo, stores or other goods unlawfully landed in or from a craft in New Zealand 139
Certain decisions on late payment penalties and compensatory interest
Statements of liability for compensatory interest and late payment penalties 164
Not refunding or remitting compensatory interest or a late payment penalty 173 
Review of administrative penalties
Issuing of, or amount of, an administrative penalty 291
Refusal to remit or refund a further penalty for late payment of an administrative penalty  292 

An administrative review cannot be sought for any other type of decision or action not listed in the above table.

Applying for a review

To apply for an administrative review complete C13 Administrative Review Application Form (DOC 134 KB)

You must clearly state the:

  • decision you disagree with, and
  • reasons you request a review.

We must receive your application within 20 working days of the date on the notice of the decision.

Alternatively, if you need more time to make your application, you can request an extension of time by partially completing the application form, and submitting it to us within 20 working days of the date on the notice of decision.

You cannot request an administrative review and simultaneously appeal to the Customs Appeal Authority (CAA) for the same matter. However once you receive the determination from an administrative review, you then have the option to appeal the determination to the CAA.

The review process

We conduct an administrative review on the basis of the information provided in the application, and in any relevant records we hold. An officer (of the same or higher rank) who was not involved in the original decision would undertake the review.

We assess the original decision on:

  • the legal basis for the decision
  • whether the amount of duty, penalty or compensatory interest calculated is accurate
  • appropriate use of discretion and fairness (relevant only for decisions on administrative penalties).

We will complete an administrative review within 20 working days after an application is received, unless the time is formally extended.

Review outcomes

The potential outcomes from an administrative review are that:

  • the decision is upheld
  • a different decision is applied
  • you receive a refund
  • you receive an assessment for extra duty.

We will advise you in writing of the decision and the actions we have taken as a result (for example, arranging a refund or issuing an assessment for extra duty).

Further information

Read more information in our Administrative Reviews customer guide. (PDF 190 KB).

You can also read Customs operational policy for administrative reviews.