COVID-19 update 26 March: Temporary entry restrictions remain in place at the NZ border – for more information please refer to either the Immigration NZ website or the Ministry of Health website. The border is open ONLY to NZ citizens and residents, Realm countries, Australian citizens and permanent residents ordinarily resident in NZ, airline and marine crew. More Customs’ information in relation to COVID-19 is available on this website. For more information about the NZ Government’s COVID-19 response, please refer to the official COVID-19 website.
Infringement Notices or instant fines are issued if you're 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 $400.00 for individuals and $800.00 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.