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COVID-19 update

11.17am 02 April 2020 | News


The New Zealand Government has placed temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand to assist with the containment of the COVID-19. Trade is an essential service, and during all COVID-19 Alert Levels Customs will continue to ensure that imports and exports clear the border.

Latest Information: 2 April 2020

Temporary entry restrictions

Entry Restrictions

The Government has announced further border measures restricting entry to New Zealand.

Only New Zealand residents and citizens (and their children and partners) are permitted to enter New Zealand. 

This includes the Realm countries (the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau), Australian citizens and permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand, airline and marine crew.

There will be some exceptions, on a case by case basis, for example for essential health workers, humanitarian reasons, and others.

For more information please refer to either the Immigration NZ website or the Ministry of Health website.

Passenger arrivals and departures statistics

For information about the number of arriving and departing commercial air passengers go to the Statistics page.

New Zealand passenger arrival measures

Every passenger entering New Zealand will be screened for COVID-19 on arrival.

Passengers will be disembarked in small groups and met by Government officials at the gate.

When passengers disembark the plane, health officials will discuss self-isolation and transport arrangements and answer any questions passengers may have.

If passengers have a domestic transit flight, they will not be allowed to connect to that flight.

If a passenger is symptomatic on arrival, they will be tested and placed in an approved isolation facility for 14 days

If a passenger is not symptomatic on arrival, they will be asked to explain their plan for self-isolation and transport arrangements to that place.

For more information please refer to either the Immigration NZ website or the Ministry of Health website.

Self-isolation or low-level quarantine requirements

All people entering New Zealand must self-isolate for 14 days from arrival.

If passengers have no suitable plan in place for self-isolation, they will be placed in local low-level quarantine accommodation, which has been approved for isolation for 14 days. They will be transported there directly from the airport.

If passengers are placed in managed accommodation for the 14 day low-level quarantine isolation period, further information will be provided on what will happen after that, including planned transport through domestic flights.

If passengers have a suitable self-isolation plan and transport arrangements, they will be escorted to their transport. They will also be checked on by Police within 72 hours to ensure you are in self-isolation.

A suitable plan must meet all of the following nine criteria:

  • You have not been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • You don’t have COVID-19 symptoms;
  • You have not been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results;
  • You haven’t been in close contact with someone with suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
  • You have a suitable place to complete your self-isolation (private residence). You must not self-isolate with “at-risk people” (e.g. those over 70, those with medical conditions, pregnant women etc).  Further details on “at-risk people” available on the COVID-19 website.
  • Your self-isolation location (private residence) must be within five (5) hours’ drive from the airport;
  • You must reach your self-isolation location (private residence) within twelve (12) hours of arriving to New Zealand;
  • You will not use rental cars, lease cars, public transport (taxis, Uber, buses, trains, ferries, domestic flights etc) to travel to your self-isolation location (private residence);
  • You must use a private car to take you directly to this self-isolation location – either:
    • a self-drive private car already parked at the airport
    • a private car driven by someone living at your intended self-isolation location, e.g. someone within your “bubble” at the same address.  (Note that only the driver should travel to the airport to pick you up – i.e. no passengers from your intended self-isolation destination.)

Guidelines for travelling home to complete your 14 day self-isolation period:

  • Private cars: Please travel home from the international airport using the most direct route:
    • Acceptable: Private cars (self-drive or pick up by someone living at your intended self-isolation location)
    • Not acceptable: Rental cars, lease cars, public transport (taxis, Uber, buses, trains, ferries, domestic flights etc)
  • Hygiene: While moving through the airport and then driving home, please observe best hygiene practices, including covering your coughs and sneezes, washing your hands / using hand sanitiser; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Read more on the self-isolation page.
  • Physical distancing: You must have no face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres with anybody except those in your private car (i.e. those living at your intended self-isolation location).
  • Feeling unwell: If you feel unwell please call Healthline immediately on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs).

Do air crew still have an exemption from self-isolation for 14 days?

Yes. Current arrangements remain in place for air crew.

Can passengers transit through New Zealand to a third country?

No. Transit through New Zealand has ceased from 2am Thursday March 26 2020. Passengers will not be allowed to board a plane to New Zealand unless they are eligible to enter the country.

Can a passenger connect to a domestic flight on arrival?

No.

For further quarantine and self-isolation information, as well as passenger factsheets,  please refer to the Ministry of Health website.

Keep Trade Flowing

Advice for exporters

NZTE has launched a dedicated website that brings today information from around the world to help exporters mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the website.

Advice for importers and businesses

The Government's central resource for COVID-19 business information with updates about COVID-19 and guidance to help businesses. Visit the website.

Customs Duty and/or GST

If you are unable to pay Customs duty and/or GST on time due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Customs on revenue@customs.govt.nz to discuss payment options and we will do our best to accommodate. Please quote your Customs client code when you contact us.

Excise Clients

We realise New Zealand’s transition to Alert Level 4 will have a significant effect on the hospitality industry.  This is likely to impact the cash flow of Excise clients. If you are unable to pay your excise duty on time due to the impact of COVID-19, please contact Customs on revenue@customs.govt.nz to discuss payment options and we will do our best to accommodate. Please quote your Customs client code and due date when you contact us.

Public counters

Service Delivery counters across the country are closed to the public, including the Auckland Customhouse.  

However, one counter will remain open at the Auckland Air Cargo Inspection Facility (ACIF) for urgent clearances between the hours of 10am – 2pm, Monday to Friday. Please note, this counter will only be used as a drop-box to receive documents, our staff will not come to the counter to discuss issues, unless by prior arrangement.

Please email the team at service.delivery@customs.govt.nz to confirm that the documents have been delivered.

Concessions

The Government has approved two tariff concessions for products critical in the fight against COVID-19 (Soap and COVID-19 testing kits). View the Concessions Approval Notice 11.

We understand that some importers may not meet specific concessions due to complications arising from the response to COVID-19. We request that any applications for special consideration are emailed to service.delivery@customs.govt.nz. Please provide as much detail as you can. 

Movement of essential/non-essential goods

Companies that have non-essential goods blocking movement of essential goods may apply for permission to move those goods to and from the port to their CCA for storage. However, they are not authorised to unpack or deliver those non-essential goods to their customers.

All communications with Customs should be via feedback@customs.govt.nz

View the full details.

Contact for Trade enquiries

If you require any support from Customs during this time, please email your individual Customs contact in the first instance, or use their cellphone number rather than their landline. Where possible, we are working from home and we will respond to you as quickly as we can.

Otherwise, our contact centre will remain open 8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 0800 428 786, or you can use our enquiry form. For urgent queries relating to freight, please call 0800 428 786 or email service.delivery@customs.govt.nz with Urgent in the subject line.

For any urgent clearances after these hours please call 09 927 8059.

Customs is doing everything it can to protect New Zealand from the further spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.

More information

For more information about the temporary border restrictions and visas, please refer to the Immigration NZ website.

For health information, please refer to the Ministry of Health website.

For more information about the NZ Government's COVID-19 response, please refer to the official COVID-19 website.

Previous updates by Customs on COVID-19: