Customs and Excise Act 1996

Before its repeal, this Act was administered by: New Zealand Customs Service
  • repealed
  • Customs and Excise Act 1996: repealed, on 1 October 2018, by section 442 of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 (2018 No 4).

Reprint as at 1 October 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Customs and Excise Act 1996

Public Act
1996 No 27
Date of assent
4 June 1996
see section 1

Customs and Excise Act 1996: repealed, on 1 October 2018, by section 442 of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 (2018 No 4).


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the New Zealand Customs Service.


1Short Title and commencement
3Act to bind the Crown
3ATransitional and savings provisions relating to amendments to this Act
4Application of Act in certain cases
5New Zealand Customs Service
6Authorised persons
7Identity cards
8Customs flag
9Customs places
10Customs controlled areas
11Application for licence
12Grant or refusal of licence
13Variation or revocation of conditions
14Revocation or suspension of licence
15Surrender of licence
16Closing of Customs controlled area
17Liabilities not affected by ceasing to act as licensee
18Customs facilities in Customs controlled areas
19Storage charges
19APurpose of sections 19B to 19H
19BAreas that may be licensed as CASEs
19CApplication for area to be licensed as CASE
19DLicences for CASEs
19EAccess of Customs officers to CASEs
19FExamination of goods to be exported and that have been brought to CASE
19GDetaining and searching vehicles for goods to be exported and that have been brought to CASE
19HCustoms facilities in CASEs
20Goods subject to control of Customs
21Advice of arrival, etc
21AInward cargo report
22Requirement to answer questions
23Bringing-to of ship
24Craft to arrive at nominated Customs place only
25Craft arriving at place other than nominated Customs place
26Inward report
27Persons arriving in New Zealand to report to Customs officer or Police station
29Baggage to be presented
30Persons departing from New Zealand to depart from Customs place
32Outgoing baggage to be presented
32AUse of electronic communication devices prohibited in certain places
32BCompletion of processing under Immigration Act 2009 and Biosecurity Act 1993
32CCases requiring investigation for public health or law enforcement purposes
32DArrival and departure information
32EVerification of identity using biometric information
32FDetention of persons failing to comply with a direction under section 32E
33Clearance of craft
34Certificate of clearance
34AAAdvance notice of departure may be provided by, or by agent of, owner or operator of craft
34AFees and charges relating to granting certificate of clearance
35Boarding of outward craft
36Production of certificate of clearance
37Departure to be from Customs place only
37AOutward cargo report
38Regulations relating to stores for craft
38BPurpose of this Part
38CPersons to whom section 38D or section 38E applies
38DInformation about border-crossing craft
38EInformation about border-crossing persons
38FFurther provisions about giving Customs access to information under section 38D or section 38E
38GControls on use by Customs of information
38HInformation about travel within 28-day period
38IInformation about other travel may be searched for information relating to travellers within 28-day period
38JSearch and viewing warrants
38KSearch and viewing without warrant in emergencies
38LProcedure if viewing of information not authorised
38MSecurity of applications for warrants
38NInformation and disclosure in section 38M(7)
38ODisposal of information collected by Customs
38PProtection of persons acting under authority of Part
38QPart does not limit other access to or use of information
39Entry of imported goods
39AEntry of imported goods in multiple or split shipments
40Regulations relating to entry of imported goods
40AFees and charges relating to importation of goods
41Imported goods to be dealt with according to entry
42Cancellation and amendments of entries [Repealed]
43Unloading goods
44Craft imported otherwise than as cargo
45Samples or illustrations
46Transportation of imported goods
47Removal of goods from Customs controlled area
48Temporary removal of goods from Customs controlled area
48ATranshipment requests
49Entry of goods for export
50Regulations relating to entry of goods for export
50AFees and charges relating to exportation of goods
51Goods for export to be dealt with according to entry
52Goods for export not to be landed
53Time of exportation
53ACustoms seal may be used in relation to goods for export
53BWarning notices for packages in relation to which seal used
53CChief executive may approve secure exports scheme
53DPurpose of secure exports scheme
53EMatters to be specified in secure exports scheme
53FMatters to be acknowledged in secure exports scheme
53GGoods to be exported under Customs-approved secure exports scheme may be exported under drawback
53HUse of Customs seals in relation to goods to be exported under Customs-approved secure exports schemes
53IExporters may be involved in exportation of goods outside Customs-approved secure exports scheme
53JReview of Customs-approved secure exports scheme
54Prohibited imports
54AOrders are confirmable instruments
55Duration of Orders in Council prohibiting imports
56Prohibited exports
56AOrders are confirmable instruments
57Duration of Orders in Council prohibiting exports
58Production of licence or permit for goods
59Certain terms defined in Tariff Act 1988
60Importer to specify Customs value on entry
61Amendment of valuation assessment
62Foreign currency
63Crown’s right of compulsory acquisition
64Origin of fish or other produce of the sea
64ANew Zealand certificates of origin for goods for export to party to free trade agreement
64BBodies authorised to issue New Zealand certificates of origin
64CRegulations relating to New Zealand certificates of origin and certification bodies
65Regulations for determining country of produce or manufacture
66Conditions precedent to entry of goods at preferential rates of duty
67Unsubstantiated preference claims
68Manufacture of excisable goods
68AExemption for tobacco manufactured for personal use
68BExemption for alcohol manufactured for personal use
68CExemption for biofuel and biofuel blends manufactured for personal use
69Goods deemed to have been manufactured
70Entry of excisable goods
71Regulations relating to entry of excisable goods
72Removal for home consumption
73Excise duty on goods manufactured in manufacturing areas
74Excise duty on goods manufactured outside manufacturing area
75Excise-equivalent duty on imported goods
75AAccident compensation levies are additional to excise duty on motor spirits [Repealed]
76Excise duty a Crown debt
76BCertification of 2010 Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Document
76CAccess to Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table
76DApplication of Legislation Act 2012
76EJudicial notice of Table
76FEvidence of Table
76GTable may be amended, and must be interpreted, as if it were an enactment
76HReferences to Schedule 3
77Modification of rates of excise duty and excise-equivalent duty
78Power to amend Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table for certain purposes
79Indexation of rates of excise duty and excise-equivalent duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
79AAIncreases of 10% on 1 January 2011 and 2012 must be made in or by Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table (Tobacco Products Indexation or Other) Amendment Orders 2010 and 2011 [Repealed]
79ABRates of duties for tobacco products increased by 10% if not indexed on 1 January in 2013 to 2016 [Repealed]
79ACRates of duties on motor spirits increased by 3 cents on 1 July in 2013, 2014, and 2015 [Repealed]
79ADRates of duties for tobacco products increased by 10% if not indexed on 1 January in 2017 to 2020
79APower to alter rates of excise duty and excise-equivalent duty on motor spirits by Order in Council
80Orders are confirmable instruments
80AOrders may be revoked or varied by resolution of House of Representatives
81Power of Governor-General in Council to suspend, remit, refund, or create exemptions from excise duties and excise-equivalent duties on goods supplied to certain organisations and their members
82Duty payable on goods consumed before removal from manufacturing area
83Excise duty and excise-equivalent duty on spirits and other alcoholic beverages if approval not complied with
84Assessment of excise duty on beer or wine otherwise exempt
85Duty credits
86Duty on imported goods a Crown debt
87Additional duty imposed
88Assessment of duty
89Amendment of assessment
90Due date for payment of duty
91Assessment presumed to be correct
92Obligation to pay duty not suspended by appeal
93Chief executive to pay interest on duty refunded on appeal
94Limitation of time for amendment of assessments
95Keeping of business records
95AGiving Customs access to business records
96Meaning of related
97Duty a charge on goods
98Application of section 99
99Rights and duties of chief executive in recovery of duty
100Application of section 101
101Ranking of duty
102Release of goods subject to duty
103Liability for duty on goods wrongfully removed or missing
104Liability of owners of craft for duty on goods unlawfully landed
105Effect of payment of duty by one person on liability of other persons
106Incidence of altered duties
107Assessment of duty in particular cases
108Goods from the Cook Islands and Niue
109Reimportation of goods exported
110Importer, etc, leaving New Zealand
111Chief executive may refund duty paid in error
112Refunds of duty on goods under Part 2 of Tariff
113Other refunds and remissions of duty
114Power to apply refunds towards payment of other duties
115Recovery of duty refunded in error
116Goods temporarily imported
117Drawbacks of duty on certain goods
118Regulations may prescribe minimum duty collectable, value of goods below which duty need not be collected, minimum duty refundable, and minimum drawback allowable
119Application for Customs ruling
120Making of Customs ruling
121Notice of Customs ruling
122Effect of Customs ruling
123Confirmation of basis of Customs ruling
124Amendment of Customs ruling
125Cessation of Customs ruling
126Appeal from decisions of chief executive
127No liability where Customs ruling relied on
128Definitions for Part
128AImposition of penalty
128BCalculation of amount of penalty
128CAdditional penalty may be imposed
128DRight of appeal to Customs Appeal Authority
129Obligation to pay penalty not suspended by review or appeal
130No penalty in certain cases
131AJoint Border Management System (JBMS) defined
131Access generally restricted to registered users
132Application to be registered JBMS user
132AChief executive must determine application
132BBorder-related offence, dishonesty offence, and drugs offence defined
133Assignment, use, and security of unique user identifier
134Use of unique user identifier presumed secure
134AConditions on registration of registered users
134BBorder information supplied using JBMS must be supplied in approved form and manner
134CDuty to use JBMS to supply border information to Customs
135Cancellation or suspension of registration
136Customs must keep records of transmissions
137Patrols and surveillance
138Landing or mooring of Customs craft
139Boarding craft
140Searching of craft
141Securing goods on craft
142Firing on ship
143Detention of craft
144Searching vehicles
145Questioning persons about goods and debt
145AQuestioning persons about identity, address, travel movements and entitlement, and other matters
146Questioning employees of airlines, shipping companies, owners or operators of certain vehicles, etc
147Evidence of identity and entitlement to travel
147AEvidence of answers to questions under section 145A
148Detention of persons questioned about goods or debt
148ADetention of person questioned under section 145A
148BDetention of persons committing or about to commit certain offences
148CDetention for public health or law enforcement purposes
149Persons to whom sections 149A, 149B(1), and 149BA apply
149AAPowers in relation to unauthorised persons remaining in certain Customs controlled areas
149APreliminary search of persons by use of aids
149BSearching of persons if reasonable cause to suspect items hidden
149BASearching of persons for dangerous items
149CSeizure of items found
149DRights of persons detained under section 149B [Repealed]
150Access of Customs officers to Customs controlled area
151Examination of goods subject to control of Customs
152Examination of goods no longer subject to control of Customs
153Accounting for goods
154Production of goods
155Verification of entries
155ACancellation and amendment of entries
156Securities for payment of duty
157New securities may be required
158Written authority of agents
159Audit or examination of records
160Requisition to produce documents
161Further powers in relation to documents
162Privilege in respect of confidential communications between legal practitioners and between legal practitioners and their clients
163Documents in foreign language
164Chief executive may take possession of and retain documents and records
165Copying of documents obtained during inspection
166Retention of documents and goods obtained during inspection
166ADetention of goods suspected to be instrument of crime or tainted property
166BReturn of cash necessary to satisfy essential human needs
166CFurther provisions about detention under section 166A
166DReturn of goods detained under section 166A
166EExtension of 7-day period in section 166D(1)(a)
166FCustody of certain goods detained under section 166A
167Search warrants
168Entry and search under warrant [Repealed]
168ASearching of persons for dangerous items when executing search warrant [Repealed]
168BDetention of dangerous items [Repealed]
169Search warrant to be produced [Repealed]
170Duty to inform owner where thing seized [Repealed]
171Emergency warrants [Repealed]
172Use of aids by Customs officer
173Conditions applying to entry of buildings [Repealed]
174Arrest of suspected offenders
175Protection of persons acting under authority of Act
175ASeizure and detention of dangerous civil aviation goods
175BUnlawful travel document
175CSeizure and detention of goods or documents suspected to be certain risk goods or evidence of commission of certain offences
175DSeizure and detention of certain drugs and objectionable publications
176Threatening or resisting Customs officer
177Obstructing Customs officer or interfering with Customs property
177AAKilling or injuring Customs dog
177AFalse allegation or report to Customs officer
178Personation of Customs officer
179Counterfeit seals, stamps, markings, substances, or devices
180Obligations of persons arriving in or departing from New Zealand
181Unauthorised presence in certain Customs controlled areas
182Unauthorised access to or improper use of JBMS
183Interference with JBMS
184Offences in relation to security of, or unauthorised use of, unique user identifiers
185Failure to answer questions
186Failure to produce evidence of identity, entitlement to travel, or other matters
187Failure to produce or account for goods
188Failure to comply with requisition
188AFailure or refusal to remain at place
189Use of area without licence
190Failure to comply with conditions of licence
191Offences in relation to arrival of craft
192Offences in relation to inward report
192AOffences in relation to inward cargo report
193Offences in relation to departure of craft
194Offences in relation to advance notice of departure
194AFailure to comply with requirement to cease using electronic communication device
194BOffences in relation to outward cargo report
194COffences in relation to transhipment requests
196Adapting craft for smuggling
197Interference with seals, etc
198Interference with cargo
199Unloading goods without authorisation
200Offences in relation to manufacture, movement, and storage of goods
201Interference with goods
202Contravention of direction of chief executive under section 97
203Offences in relation to entries
204Offences in relation to declarations and documents
204AOffence relating to failure to update information supplied in advance
205Offences in relation to records
205AOffences relating to failure to give Customs access to information
205BOffence relating to disclosing whether required to give Customs access to information
206Possession of incomplete documents
207Offences in relation to use of goods
208Provisions relating to offences against sections 203 to 207
209Offences in relation to importation or exportation of prohibited goods
209APublications imported or exported in course of official duties
210Offences in relation to exportation of goods
210AOffences in relation to Customs seals and Customs-approved secure exports schemes
211Defrauding the revenue of Customs
212Possession or custody of uncustomed goods or prohibited imports
213Purchase, sale, exchange, etc, of uncustomed goods or prohibited imports
214Possession or control of concealed goods
215Offences in relation to seized goods
215AOffences in relation to certain detained goods
216Offences in relation to Customs Appeal Authorities
217Liability of officers of corporations
218Liability of principal and agent
220Offences punishable on summary conviction [Repealed]
221Filing of charging document
222Court may order payment of money in respect of duty
223Power of chief executive to deal with petty offences
224Application of this Part
225Goods forfeited
226Procedure for seizure
227Notice of seizure
228Forfeiture to relate back
229Delivery of goods seized on deposit of value
230Sale of certain seized goods
231Application for review of seizure
232Conduct of review
233Decision on review
234Matters concerning grant of relief
234ACondemnation if application discontinued [Repealed]
235Determinations where relief granted
235ACondemnation of seized goods
235BRight of appeal to Customs Appeal Authority from decision on review
235CCondemnation of goods subject to appeal
236Condemnation of seized goods on conviction
237Disposal of forfeited goods
238Application of forfeiture provisions
239Burden of proof
240Documents made overseas
241Proof of rules made under section 288
242Customs record of computer transmission admissible in evidence
243Presumption of authenticity of documents
244Establishment of Customs Appeal Authorities
245Term of office of Authority
246Oath to be taken by Authority
247Remuneration and travelling expenses
248Sickness or incapacity
249Validity of appointment not to be questioned in proceedings
250Authority not personally liable
251Registrars of Authorities
253Functions of Authority
255Nature of appeal
256Authority may extend time for appeal
258Authority may decide appeal without oral hearing if both parties consent
259Authority’s powers
261Powers of investigation
262Power to summon witnesses
263Service of summons
264Protection of persons appearing
265Witnesses’ allowances
266Payment of witnesses’ allowances
267Grounds of appeal and burden of proof
268Sittings of Authority
269Authority may dismiss frivolous or vexatious appeal
270Decision of Authority
271Power to award costs
272Appeals to High Court
273Appeal to Court of Appeal
274Stating case for High Court
274AUse of automated electronic systems by Customs to make decisions, exercise powers, comply with obligations, and take related actions
274BPublication of details of arrangements for use of automated electronic systems
274CVariation and substitution of decisions made by automated electronic systems
274DAppeals and reviews unaffected
274ENo limitation of claims by Crown to recover duties or interest on duties, or on forfeiture proceedings, under this Act
275Payments by chief executive out of public money
276Application of Act to postal articles
277Declarations under this Act
278Power of chief executive to determine seals, etc
279Arrival and departure information [Repealed]
280Supply of arrival and departure information for benefit and benefit debt recovery purposes
280BDisclosure of arrival and departure information for purposes of mutual assistance provision contained in social security agreement
280DDisclosure of arrival and departure information for fines enforcement purposes
280ENo Crown liability to third parties for fines enforcement action
280FCustoms may supply information concerning specified fines defaulters to chief executive of Department of Labour
280GDefined terms for sections 280H and 280I
280HDisclosure of arrival and departure information for purposes of Student Loan Scheme Act 2011
280IDirect access to arrival and departure information for purposes of Student Loan Scheme Act 2011
280JDefined terms for sections 280K and 280L
280KDisclosure of arrival and departure information for purposes of Child Support Act 1991
280LDirect access to arrival and departure information for purposes of Child Support Act 1991
280MDirect access to database information for purposes of counter-terrorism and national security
281Disclosure of information overseas
282Information that may be disclosed
282ACustoms may for certain purposes collect, use, or disclose certain information
282BAccess by accessing agency to border information
282CChief executive must review operation of section 282B
282EPurpose of sections 282F to 282H [Repealed]
282FInterim collection of border information [Repealed]
282GRequirement by or under this Act to supply border information is complied with if information is supplied to Ministry or other agency [Repealed]
282HInterim access to border information [Repealed]
282IExpiry of sections 282E to 282H and agreements made under section 282H [Repealed]
282JAAApplication of sections 282J to 282L
282JCollection of border information
282KRequirement by or under this Act to supply border information is complied with if information is supplied to Ministry or other agency
282LCustoms may access border information
283Chief executive to give written reasons for decisions open to appeal to Customs Appeal Authority
284Giving of notice
285Additional provision relating to notices under this Act
286ARegulations relating to information sharing
286BRegulations are confirmable instruments
287Regulations for fees, charges, and expenses
287AIncorporation of provisions by reference in regulations
287BEffect of amendments to, or replacement of, provisions incorporated by reference
287CProof of provisions incorporated by reference
287DAccess to provisions incorporated by reference
287EApplication of Legislation Act 2012 to provisions incorporated by reference
287FApplication of Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 to provisions incorporated by reference [Repealed]
288Chief executive may make rules for certain purposes
288AUse of reasonable force must be reported
288BLevies for recovering border processing costs
288CContents of border processing levy order
288DTrust accounts for levy money payable to chief executive
288EEffect of levy order
288FCompliance audits
288HOffences in relation to levy orders
288ISection 288H strict liability offences
289Acts and regulations amended
290Repeals and revocations
291Validation of acts done pursuant to Customs Duties Suspension (Inter-Governmental Agreements) Order 1963
292Savings for proceedings and other matters
293Savings provision in relation to Customs officers
293ASaving of agreements made under section 280M before commencement of section 257 of Intelligence and Security Act 2017
294Transitional provision relating to terminology
295Transitional provision concerning assessment and payment of duty
296Examination station deemed to be Customs controlled area
297Examining place, Customs containerbase, sufferance wharf, and wharf deemed to be Customs controlled area
298Staff accommodation, facilities, and transit buildings deemed to be Customs controlled area
299Export warehouse deemed to be Customs controlled area
300Manufacturing area deemed to be Customs controlled area
301Transitional provision relating to conditions of appointment or licence
302Application for licence as Customs controlled area to be made within 40 working days
303Transitional status to continue until application made and disposed of
304Transitional provision relating to persons approved to defer payment of duty
305Transitional provision relating to businesses not required to be licensed
305ATransitional provisions relating to investigations of offences under Customs Act 1966
306Power to amend Schedule 3 before this Act comes into force [Repealed]
306ATransitional and savings provisions relating to amendments to this Act
307Zero-rating—duty-free goods
308Tariff items substituted [Repealed]
309New concession reference inserted [Repealed]
Reprint notes

An Act to—


reform the law relating to customs, excise, and other duties; and


provide for the administration and enforcement of Customs controls at the border; and


repeal the Customs Act 1966; and


provide for related matters