Coronavirus update 5 February: Travel restrictions are in place at the border. Only travellers arriving in NZ on flights from Australia, Singapore and the United States will be allowed to use eGates. All other travellers are now required to have their passports physically checked by a Customs officer. We ask for your ongoing understanding and patience as we protect NZ from the Novel Coronavirus. More information. If you have an immigration enquiry about travelling to NZ from China or transiting through China, please refer to the Immigration website.
Infringement Notices or instant fines are issued if you are found to be in breach of the law or Customs requirements.
We know that most people want to comply with Customs requirements and the law, but there will always be some who don’t, and some who break the law without meaning to. For that reason, in certain circumstances we issue an Infringement Notice to encourage compliance and penalise minor offending.
The fine is $400 for individuals and $800 for businesses.
There are 70 offences that can incur an Infringement Notice.
These are strict liability offences, which means you have committed an offence even though you had no intention of doing so, and there is no criminal conviction.
Details of the offence are outlined on the Infringement Notice, along with your rights.
To issue an Infringement Notice a Customs Officer needs to have reasonable grounds to believe that you are committing, or have committed an offence.
Infringement offences with revenue implications
If a duty payer makes an error in an entry and there is a revenue implication for Customs, they will also be charged compensatory interest.
If you receive an infringement notice
If you receive an infringement notice you may:
- pay the fee immediately
- pay the fee within 28 days
- do nothing in which case you will be served a reminder notice and have a further 28 days to pay the fee. If still unpaid, it will then be referred to the Ministry of Justice for fines collection, and Court costs will be added
- dispute the notice.
If you dispute the notice you can request an internal review and/or a court hearing.
You must provide information in writing to Customs to support your request(s). Use Forms NZCS 395 (PDF 263 KB) to request your fine be waived and NZCS 396 (PDF 265 KB) to request a hearing or contact us.
See our brochure (PDF 644 KB) for details on Infringement Notices, your rights, and how to pay.