Skip to main content
Page load in progress

Provisional values

The provisional values scheme allows certain importers to provide a reasonable estimate of value on an import entry when they cannot establish the Customs value at time of import.

When to use provisional values

Provisional values are for use when:

  • you cannot determine the cost of your imported goods at the time of importation, or 
  • the Customs value of imported goods is likely to change after importation. 

How provisional values work

You need to first register with Customs to use the provisional values scheme. As part of the registration process Customs will set up the entry system to recognise that you are an authorised user of provisional values.

Once set up, you will be able to indicate in your import entries which goods are being entered with provisional values. The person submitting your entries will enter a reasonable estimate of the Customs value for the goods and the provisional values code. The provisional value will be treated as the Customs value and as such will be used to calculate the Customs charges payable at time of import.

You will be required to provide Customs with the actual value, also known as the final Customs value, within 12 months from the end of the financial year in which entry for the goods was made. You must provide a reconciliation of the entire period covered detailing what the final Customs value is and whether this has any impact on the Customs charges collected at the time of import, for example, is there now revenue to be collected or a refund to be processed.


You must be registered with us to use provisional values. We will register you if you:

  • notify us that you automatically qualify and we agree with your notification 
  • apply to use provisional values and we approve your application 
  • email us to say that you are in a group that has been approved by the chief executive. 

Automatic qualification to use provisional values

You may automatically qualify to use provisional values in your import entries if you:

  • have a transfer pricing arrangement and a binding ruling (for example, advanced pricing agreement) 
  • pay royalties and licence fees
  • pay further proceeds to the supplier. 

The criteria for each of these instances are outlined in detail in the Provisional Values Importer Guide (PDF 884 KB).

You must notify us on the form: NZCS 256 Notification to use provisional values (DOC 250 KB).

We will assess your notification and agree or disagree with you that you automatically qualify. If we agree, we will also register you. You’ll hear back from us within five working days.

Application for approval to use provisional values

If you do not fit the criteria to automatically qualify, then to use provisional values you must go through the application process.

Information on how to apply is outlined in the Provisional Values Importer Guide (PDF 884 KB).

Use the form: NZCS 251 Application to use provisional values. (DOC 252 KB).

We will assess your application and approve or decline it. If we approve it, we will also register you.

Why use provisional values

The benefit of using provisional values is that if your final value is more than your total provisional values, then you will not be charged compensatory interest on the shortfall – the extra duty you owe.

Class approvals for provisional values

The Chief Executive of Customs may approve a:

  • class of importer to use provisional values 
  • general class of goods that importers can use provisional values for.

If these approvals occur then information will be published on this website and in the Customs Release publication.

If you are covered by the class then you will need to email us at: to confirm that you qualify.

Further information

Read Customs operational policy for provisional values.