Register as a commercial importer

Information about cargo and craft entering NZ must be reported to Customs.


If you’re importing goods worth more than NZ$1,000, you need a client code and a supplier code. You'll also need to register for the Trade Single Window (TSW).

Importers and their agents; freight forwarders; airlines and shipping lines; ship agents and port companies generally submit import information as electronic messages, collectively called ‘lodgements’. 

These lodgements include:

  • import and export entries or declarations
  • Biosecurity Authority Clearance Certificate (BACC) applications
  • inward and outward cargo reports
  • cargo movement requests and arriving and departing craft notices.

Connection options

Trade Single Window (TSW) enables registered users to submitt lodgements, view lodgements submitted on your behalf, and apply and manage client and supplier codes. 

There are three options:

Direct connect to TSW

You can connect and send lodgements to TSW directly without having to use a messaging service provider, and receive responses the same way. This requires a level of information technology expertise to establish and maintain the connection, and meet communications security requirements. There may be cost savings in direct connect, depending on your lodgement volumes and set up costs.

Both the current Customs lodgements and MPI eBACC applications (called ‘legacy’ messages), and the new WCO3 messages, can be sent via direct connect. Note that some commercial customs and freight software providers do not allow for direct connect, as their service includes messaging management.

Using a messaging service provider

A messaging service provider connects to TSW on behalf of its clients, and carries lodgements and responses between clients and government agencies. In some cases it transforms client data into the required format.

Using TSW Online

TSW Online enables registered users to submit lodgements and check for responses. The screens use WCO3 lodgements, so for imported consignments, separate submissions to Customs and MPI are no longer required. Online submission is suitable for clients with lower lodgement volumes. As there are no submission charges for using TSW Online, there is an immediate cost saving (note Customs and MPI transaction fees on lodgements still apply).