Customs and Excise Act 2018

The new Customs and Excise act 2018 will come into effect from the 1st October 2018 and will be a replacement for the old 1996 act. The intent of this new act is still largely the same as the previous act but is less prescriptive and more principles based and is intended to provide Customs the flexibility to keep pace with the constantly changing border, trade travel and business environments. 

Below are the main touch points for Importers and Exporters  which we hope will inform you of what areas may need further consideration for your business needs in the coming future. More information is available on each topic online from www.Customs or by contacting your Mondiale customs broker or Key Account manager

For both Importers and Exporters

Storing Business Records
Customs related business records are required to be kept for 7 years and were required to be kept in NZ unless you had an exemption from NZ Customs. The new 2018 act allows Individuals, Business and data storage providers to apply to Customs to  store business records outside of NZ including the cloud.

Administrative Penalties
These were introduced for Imports in the 1996 act, were extended to Drawback entries in 2012 and under the 2018 act will apply to all  Exporters, Importers, licensee’s and Agents who make errors or omissions on import export or excise (Alcohol, Tobacco or Fuel) entries. The Minimum penalty remains unchanged at 200.00. 

Administrative Review
A quicker and no cost option compared  to appealing to the Customs Appeal Authority, Customs staff not involved in the original decisions will complete a review on Duty Assessments and Amendments (incl Excise and Provisional Value assessments) Compensatory interest and Late Payment Penalties and administrative penalties.

Joint Border Management System (JBMS)
Users of JBMS will have ongoing competency requirements such as

  • Being a fit and proper person
  • Act with sufficient care and expertise
  • Act honesty , Straightforwardly and faithfully in professional dealing
  • Be competent by having sufficient training and experience

Compensatory Interest and Late Payment Penalties
NZ Customs is introducing Compensatory (use of money) interest to Importers Exporters and Excise Licensees where the correct revenue has not been paid  to the Crown or incorrect amounts have been refunded or claimed on drawback. Late Payment Penalties apply to late payments after the due date.

Both Compensatory interest and Late Payment Penalties are modeled on the Inland Revenue current practice  

Infringement Notice Scheme
From 1st April 2019 a new Infringement Notice Scheme replaces the  petty  offences regime   (which ceases on 1st  October 2018). The scheme allows for a proportionate response to minor offending and will be more cost and time effective to administer. More information is expected on this.

For Importers

Provisional Values
Importers who cannot determine the values of imported goods at the time of importation can apply to use a provisional Value at importation with that Value being finalized at a later date. Likely examples of where this would be useful are :

  • Importers with Transfer Pricing Arrangements  both  with or without Advanced Pricing Agreements with Inland Revenue
  •  Importers with an Agreed uplift rate with NZ Customs as the uplift programme will cease on 1st October 2018
  • Importers who will adjust the Customs Value of their goods because of a Royalty fee Agreement if the royalty is such that the correct Customs Value cannot be established at the time of import 

Valuation Rulings
This is a formal decision by NZ Customs that give importers a binding determination for up to three years on how a certain good in specific circumstances should be valued, these applications should be made well in advance of the goods being imported but Customs can consider post importation applications on a case by case basis.   


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