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Types of rulings

Rulings are available for valuation, classification, origin and concessions.

If you’re an importer or you make items, you can apply to us for a ruling in relation to particular goods on any of the following:

  • tariff classification
  • excise classification
  • country of origin
  • any concessions items qualify for
  • interpretation of the rules of origin for an item
  • valuation of goods.

You can use this ruling when you clear your items.

We give you the ruling in writing. It’s valid throughout NZ for three years after we issue it, as long as the facts and conditions of the original ruling don’t change.

Rulings only apply to:

  • the people who apply for them
  • the specific item(s) the ruling covers.

An amended ruling – that increases the duty you must pay – won’t apply if:

  • you import the item(s) within three months of the date we tell you we’re amending the ruling, and you’ve already entered a binding contract before that date
  • your item(s) have already left their place of export on the date we tell you we’re amending the ruling
  • you’ve imported the item(s) on or before the date we tell you we’re amending the ruling, but the item(s) haven’t yet been cleared. 


  • Upfront decisions about your item(s) means you can base your decisions on reliable information about how your item(s) will be classified, their country of origin, method for valuation, and whether they qualify for a concession or not.
  • Uniform, binding decisions: Customs rulings are honoured at all NZ ports of entry.

Publishing a ruling

Customs may publish a ruling if we consider that publication is in the public interest. We will only publish your ruling if we have your consent, or the information is already in the public domain, or it is in a form that has been anonymised. In some cases we must publish a ruling to comply with international agreements. See rulings which have been published.