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TSW Mandatory Date Decision September 2017

12.04pm 22 March 2018

Mandatory date for submitting WCO3 Messages via Trade Single Window.

Consultation and Results

On 23 August Customs and MPI proposed 1 July 2018 as the mandatory date for adopting the WCO3 format for cargo reporting and clearance messages. We included two caveats:

  • For the main Inward Cargo Report (ICR) message, this is a target date subject to successful piloting in 2017;
    • The new Domestic and International Transhipment messages (DTR and ITR) that will ultimately be required to approve cargo movements are excluded from the mandatory date as they are subject to a separate pilot project in 2018.

The consultation period closed on 8 September. We did not receive any feedback, questions or requests for discussion.  We have since followed up with industry bodies to confirm there is no concern about this date.  CBAFF, CAPEC and the Air Cargo Council accepted the date. 

One shipping line asked for the date to be 1 July 2019, citing that the ICR message is more complicated and its specifications have only firmed up recently.  We do not consider this reason to defer the date because:

  • The ICR Message Implementation Guideline (MIGs) were first published in August 2013.  There have only been minor updates to it since then.  The ICR message has been available for testing since mid-2016. This has provided a sufficiently stable basis for industry members to commence or at least plan development of the message over the last two years.
  • Industry bodies originally advised that 18 months’ notice was needed to prepare for adopting the new messages.  Since 2015, we have twice set and later withdrawn a mandatory date.  The last target mandatory date for ICR was 1 July 2017.  We withdrew the date in June 2016, advising we would reset it once the final system build stage (Release 10) was completed. We explicitly advised industry to continue to develop the new messages and start or continue testing in the current test environments to be ready for mandatory dates in 2017
  • The new date of 1 July 2018 will mean industry has had at last four years to plan for the ICR, and a full two years since we withdrew the last target mandatory date. Over the last six months, we have repeated advice to prepare for a mandatory date.
  • Several shipping lines have development under way or planned. Industry members still have nine months to develop and test the ICR message.

As a result, our decision is to confirm our proposal for 1 July 2018, as set out in Section 2 below.  More detail on the messages is provided in the attached Summary of WCO3 Messages, and in the original 2012 TSW Industry Consultation Paper.

It’s important to note that unless the core ICR message pilot mentioned below results in a delay, Customs will close and decommission the legacy EDIFACT messaging gateway supported by B2BE NZ as soon as possible after 1 July 2018.

Mandating details

  • 1 July 2018 is the mandatory date for submitting the following WCO3 format messages via the Trade Single Window system (TSW):
    • Import Declaration (all types)
    • Export Declaration
    • Cargo Report Export (CRE)
    • Outward Cargo Report (OCR)

To remove any doubt, this means Customs will no longer accept the legacy EDIFACT CUSDEC messages (Export Entry and all Import Entry types) and CUSCAR Export ECI message.

  • Subject to successful piloting of the message in 2017, 1 July 2018 is the target mandatory date for submitting the WCO3 Inward Cargo Report (ICR) message via TSW for the following purposes: 
    • All carriers (airlines and shipping lines) must use the WCO3 ICR message to report cargo on board a craft destined for NZ.  Airlines must report at FWB and FHL level, unless Customs authorises the consolidator/express courier to report FHL details.
    • Sea freight consolidators (freight forwarders and integrators) must submit a consolidation ICR at least 48 hours prior to the ship’s estimated time of arrival in New Zealand.

The reason for the mandatory date being a target pending ICR pilot completion is that the functionality set out above involves new agency processes, especially for MPI.  We want to ensure these are well tested in the real world before opening up to all clients.  We have industry members ready to participate in the pilot, which is about to start.  How long the pilot takes to complete will determine when and whether 1 July 2018 can be confirmed as the mandatory date.  Do not take this as a reason to delay your development of the ICR message for the purposes above, as the target date may be confirmed.

  • Transhipment (movement) requests: We are not yet mandating use of the ICR message to submit an International Transhipment Request (ITR) or Domestic Transhipment Request (DTR). Both the commencement and mandatory date for ITR and DTR messages will be consulted and set separately. This is because they involve a lot of change to agency and industry business processes and we want to pilot them thoroughly before wider take up.  The pilot will start in 2018 – date to be confirmed. Current transhipment processes will apply till then. 
  • As previously advised, a mandatory date for Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA) and Advance Notice of Departure (AND) will be consulted with Shipping NZ following completion of piloting. Customs Service Delivery is already working with industry on adoption and mandating of the Excise Declaration.

If you have any questions about the WCO3 messages or TSW, please email