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Customs duties

Assistance for duty payers affected by COVID-19.


Changes to the Customs and Excise Regulations 1996 came into force on 29 May 2020. The changes allow duty payers whose ability to pay duty on time has been significantly affected by COVID-19, to receive a remission or refund on interest and penalties on late duty payments.

To be eligible for a remission or refund on interest and penalties the duty payer must meet the following requirements:

  • the due date of the unpaid Customs duty is between 25 March 2020 and 25 March 2022; and
  • the duty payer’s ability to make a duty payment, including associated levies, on time having been significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • the duty payer made contact with Customs as soon as reasonably practicable; and
  • the duty payer has agreed an instalment plan with Customs or paid the duty in full (but the  payment was late).

The new system was announced by the Minister of Customs in May 2020 to provide assistance to affected duty payers. This assistance only applies to interest and penalties on late duty payments, the late core duty as agreed with Customs must still be paid.

If you're unable to pay duty on time due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Customs on revenue@customs.govt.nz with your client code to discuss payment options.

For more information, you can read the Frequently Asked Questions or Customs' operational policies for compensatory interest and late payment penalties.