Customs and Excise Act 2018

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: New Zealand Customs Service

Version as at 30 November 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Customs and Excise Act 2018

Public Act
2018 No 4
Date of assent
29 March 2018
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the New Zealand Customs Service.


3Purposes of Act
4Overview of Act
5Definitions for Act
6Definition: subject to the control of Customs
7Application of Act to postal articles
8Application of Act to foreign Government ships
9Transitional, savings, and related provisions
10Act binds the Crown
11Excise duty and excise-equivalent duty levied
12Advance notice of arrival, etc
13Offences in relation to advance notice of arrival, etc
14Inward cargo report
15Offences in relation to inward cargo report
16Application of sections 17 to 25
17Craft must arrive at Customs place
18Offences in relation to craft that arrive at place other than Customs place, etc
19Persons leaving or boarding arriving craft before inward report made
20Offence in relation to leaving or boarding arriving craft before inward report made
21Authorisation for craft to arrive at place other than Customs place
22Craft that have arrived at place other than Customs place
23Offences in relation to craft that have arrived at place other than Customs place
24Inward report, etc
25Offences in relation to inward report, etc
26Requirement to answer questions and produce documents
27Offences in relation to failure to answer questions or produce documents
28Persons arriving in New Zealand to report to Customs officer or Police station
30Baggage to be presented on disembarkation, etc
31Persons departing from New Zealand to depart from Customs place
33Outgoing baggage to be presented, etc
34Offence in relation to wilful failure to comply with requirements when arriving in, or departing from, New Zealand
35Craft may not depart without certificate of clearance, etc
36Offence in relation to craft departing without certificate of clearance, etc
37Certificates of clearance
38Offences in relation to granting of certificate of clearance
39Production of certificate of clearance, etc
40Offences in relation to production of certificate of clearance, etc
41Departure only from Customs place
42Offences in relation to departure only from Customs place
43Authorisation for craft to depart from place other than Customs place
44Craft departing from place other than Customs place
45Outward cargo report
46Offences in relation to outward cargo report
47Purposes for which powers under sections 48 and 49 may be exercised
48Chief executive may require commercial transportation operator to provide craft information
49Chief executive may require commercial transportation operator to provide PNR information
50Supplementary provision relating to requirement to provide craft or PNR information
51Disposal of craft or PNR information
52Offence in relation to failure to provide Customs with PNR information
53Other provision about arrival and departure information
54Defences for offences under subpart
55Designation of Customs places
56Areas required to be licensed as Customs-controlled areas
57Application for licence
58Chief executive may request further information
59Chief executive must determine application
60Fit and proper person test
61Grant of licence
62Exemption from requirement to be licensed directed by chief executive
63Variation of terms, conditions, or restrictions
64Revocation or suspension of licence
65Surrender of licence
66Closing of Customs-controlled area
67Exemptions in relation to Customs-controlled areas
68Offences in relation to Customs-controlled areas
69Offence in relation to failure to comply with term, condition, or restriction of licence
70Customs facilities in Customs-controlled areas, etc
71Offence in relation to Customs facilities in Customs-controlled areas, etc
72Storage charges
73Liabilities not affected by ceasing to act as licensee
74Goods specified in inward report to be treated as imported
75Entry of imported goods
76Entry of imported goods in multiple or split shipments
77Imported goods to be dealt with according to entry
78Unloading goods
79Offence in relation to unloading goods
80Samples or illustrations
81Entry of Part A goods
82Nil returns
83Transportation of imported goods
84Offences in relation to transportation of imported goods
85Removal of goods from Customs-controlled areas
86Offences in relation to removal of goods from Customs-controlled areas
87Transhipment requests
88Offences in relation to transhipment requests
89Entry of goods for export
90Goods entered for export to be exported immediately, etc
91Goods sold in duty-free store
92Goods for export not to be landed
93Time of exportation
94Customs-approved export seal may not be interfered with
95Prohibition on importation and exportation of objectionable publications, other indecent or obscene articles, and goods for dishonest purpose
95AProhibition on importation of tobacco and certain tobacco products
96Prohibition on other imports or exports by Order in Council
97Prohibition on exports by notice: nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, etc
98Production of licence, permit, or consent for goods
99Duty applies even if importation prohibited
100Duty on imported goods is debt owed to the Crown
101Importer must specify Customs value on entry
102Provisional Customs value
103Chief executive may revise Customs value
104Crown’s right of compulsory acquisition
105Entry of goods at preferential rates of duty
106Unsubstantiated preference claims
107Duty credits in respect of used goods
108Duty credits in respect of repurchased goods
109Responsibility to protect integrity of system for assessing and collecting duty
110Chief executive’s general obligation in relation to collection of duty
111Entry is assessment of duty by importer or licensee or owner
112Importer to amend assessment that includes provisional Customs value
113Chief executive may assess duty where no entry made
114Assessment of excise duty and excise-equivalent duty where approval not complied with
115Assessment of excise duty on beer or wine otherwise exempt
116Assessment of excise-equivalent duty on goods imported for further manufacture
117Amendment of assessments
118Limitation of time for amendment of assessments
119Assessment to be taken to be correct
120Duty to be proportionate
121Duty on alcoholic beverages
122Time for payment of duty on imported goods: general rule
123Persons may be authorised to defer payment of duty on imported goods
124Other times for payment of duty
125Importer, etc, leaving New Zealand
126Chief executive may allow release of goods where appeal, etc, lodged
127Obligation to pay duty not suspended by appeal, etc
128Chief executive to pay interest on duty refunded on appeal, etc
129Duty is charge on goods
130Possession of goods if person claims to be purchaser for value without knowledge
131Related persons for purposes of section 130(5)
132Offence in relation to direction of chief executive under section 130(3)(b)
133Rights and duties of chief executive in relation to unpaid duty
134Ranking of duty
135Release of goods subject to duty
136Goods temporarily imported
137Goods temporarily imported for manufacturing, etc
138Liability for duty on goods wrongfully removed or missing
139Liability of owners of craft for duty on goods unlawfully landed
140Effect of payment of duty by one person on liability of other persons
141Incidence of altered duties
142Chief executive may refund duty paid in error
143Refunds of duty related to provisional Customs value
144Refunds of duty on goods under Part 2 of Tariff
145Other refunds and remissions of duty
146Power to apply refunds towards payment of other duties
147Drawbacks of duty on certain goods
148Where drawback has been allowed
149Minimum amounts of refunds and drawback
150Recovery of refunds, etc made in error
151Reimportation of goods exported
152Outward processing
153Goods from Cook Islands and Niue
154Interest payable for late or incorrect payments of duty in certain cases
155Cases involving late payment of duty
156Cases involving correction of self-assessed duty
157Cases where no entry or amendment under section 112 made
158Other cases involving assessments or demands by chief executive
159Penalties payable for late payments of duty in certain cases
160Cases in which penalties may be payable
161Interest payable for incorrect refunds of duty or drawback incorrectly allowed in certain cases
162Refunds of duty made because of error attributable to recipient, etc
163Drawback allowed because of error attributable to recipient, etc
164Statements of liability for interest and penalties
165Interest: remissions and refunds for emergency events
166Interest: remissions and refunds where inadvertent error by duty payer
167Penalties: remissions and refunds where reasonable excuse for late payment of duty
168Penalties: remissions and refunds for good payment record
169Interest and penalties: remissions and refunds if duty determined not to be payable, etc
170Interest and penalties: remissions and refunds if consistent with collection of highest net revenue over time
171Interest and penalties: remissions and refunds in prescribed circumstances
172Power to apply refunds towards payment of other amounts payable
173Administrative reviews and appeals in respect of decisions not to remit or refund
174Interest and penalties are debt due to Crown, etc
175Application of subpart
176Goods forfeited
177Forfeiture to relate back
178Seizure of forfeited goods or goods suspected to be forfeited goods
179Securing seized goods
180Offence in relation to securing seized goods
181Notice of seizure
182Delivery of goods seized on deposit of value
183Sale of certain seized goods
184Application for review of seizure
185Condemnation of seized goods
185ACondemnation of seized goods that are tobacco or tobacco products
185BNotice of seizure and condemnation of goods that are tobacco or tobacco products
186Condemnation of goods that are subject of appeal
187Condemnation of goods where relief granted but condition of relief not met within time limit
188Goods forfeit on commission of offence
189Disposal of forfeited and condemned goods
189AApplication for compensation for incorrect disposal of tobacco and certain tobacco products
190Exercise of powers in contiguous zone
191Boarding and searching craft
192Facilitation of boarding
193Offences in relation to facilitation of boarding
194Stationing Customs officers on board craft
195Securing goods on craft
196Firing on ship
197Power to order ship to leave New Zealand
198Offence in relation to power to order ship to leave New Zealand
199Detention of craft suspected to be involved in offences or smuggling migrants
200Offences in relation to detained craft
201Evidence of identity, entitlement to travel, etc
202Offence in relation to failure to produce evidence of identity, entitlement to travel, etc
203Verification of identity using biometric information
204Detention of persons failing to comply with direction under section 203(3)
205Questioning persons about goods and debt
206Detention of persons questioned about goods or debt and suspected to be involved in offences
207Completion of processing under Immigration Act 2009 and Biosecurity Act 1993
208Cases requiring investigation for public health or law enforcement purposes
209Offence in relation to requirements imposed under section 207 or 208
210Search of persons
211Search of persons suspected of having goods hidden on or about their person
212Detention of persons committing or about to commit certain offences
213Detention of persons who do not report to or remain at certain places
214Seizure of items found
215Powers in relation to unauthorised persons remaining in certain Customs-controlled areas
216Use of electronic communication devices prohibited in certain places
217Offence in relation to use of electronic communication device
218Questioning specified persons about arrival or departure
219Offence in relation to failure to produce evidence of identity, entitlement to travel, or other matters
220Detention of person to whom section 218 relates
221Detention for public health or law enforcement purposes
222Entry to Customs-controlled areas and CASEs
223Entry to examine goods subject to control of Customs
224Patrols, etc to detect offences
225Issue of search warrant
226Use of dogs and other aids
227Examination of goods subject to control of Customs
228Data in electronic devices that are subject to control of Customs
229Questioning employees of airlines and shipping companies about international cargo or domestic cargo
230Questioning certain persons about cargo to be exported
231Powers if vehicles suspected to be transporting certain goods involved in offences, etc
232Accounting for goods
233Production of goods
234Failure to produce or account for goods
235Temporary removal of goods from Customs-controlled area
236Offences in relation to temporary removal of goods from Customs-controlled area
237Powers if goods no longer under control of Customs suspected to be involved in offences or to be forfeited goods
238Verification of entries
239Cancellation and amendment of entries
240Security for payment of duty
241New security may be required
242Power to seize and detain risk goods or goods involved in certain offences, etc
243Power to seize, copy, and detain certain drugs and objectionable publications
244Detention of goods suspected to be instrument of crime or tainted property
245Custody of certain goods detained under section 244
246Offences in relation to custody of detained goods
247Return of goods detained under section 244
248Extension of investigation period
249Return of cash necessary to satisfy basic needs
250Seizure and detention of dangerous civil aviation goods
251Requirement to produce documents
252Further powers in relation to documents
253Offence in relation to failure to comply with requirement under section 251 or 252
254Legally privileged communications
255Audit or examination of records
256Chief executive may take possession of and retain records and other documents
257Copying of documents obtained during inspection
258Retention of documents and goods obtained during inspection
259Unlawful travel documents
260Documents in foreign language
261Landing or mooring of Customs craft
262Written authority of agents
263Arrest of suspected offenders
264Protection of persons acting under authority of Act
265Definition for sections 266 and 267
266Controlled delivery
267International controlled delivery
267APowers for dealing with drugs smuggling outside New Zealand, etc [Repealed]
268New Zealand Customs Service
269Comptroller of Customs
270Customs officers
271Authorised persons: individual authorisations
272Authorised persons: class authorisations
273Identity cards
274Customs flag
275Power of chief executive to determine seals, etc
276Areas that may be licensed as CASEs
277Application for CASE licence
278CASE licence
279Customs facilities in CASEs, etc
280Offence in relation to Customs facilities in CASEs, etc
281Customs-approved secure exports schemes
282Customs-approved export seals
283Amendment or revocation of notice of appointment under section 282
284Definitions for subpart
285Imposition of penalty
286When penalty must be paid
287Calculation of amount of penalty
288No penalty in certain cases
289Late payment of penalty: further penalties payable
290Further penalty may be remitted or refunded
291Administrative review of, or appeal against, decision to issue penalty notice
292Administrative review of, or appeal against, decision to refuse to remit or refund further penalty
293General rules about penalties
294Obligation to pay penalty not suspended by review or appeal
295Definitions for subpart
296Use of automated electronic systems by Customs to make decisions, exercise powers, comply with obligations, and take related actions
297Publication of details of arrangements for use of automated electronic systems
298Variation and substitution of decisions made by automated electronic systems
299Appeals and reviews unaffected
300Definitions for subpart
301Customs’ general powers for using information
302Joint border management
303Relationship between this Act and other law relating to information use and disclosure
304Definitions for subpart
305Relationship between subpart and other provisions of Act
306Information matching for purposes of Student Loan Scheme Act 2011
307Information matching for purposes of Child Support Act 1991
308Information matching for purposes of benefit and benefit debt recovery
309Information matching for purposes of mutual assistance provision contained in social security agreement
310Information matching for purpose of fines enforcement
311No Crown liability to third parties for fines enforcement action
312Direct access to information for purposes of Student Loan Scheme Act 2011
313Direct access to information for purposes of Child Support Act 1991
314Direct access to information for purposes of benefit and benefit debt recovery
315Direct access to information for other purposes
316Disclosure of information other than under information matching agreement or direct access agreement
317Disclosure of information to private sector organisations
318Disclosure of information to overseas authority
319Chief executive of Customs may issue directions for disclosure of information under section 318(6)
320Relationship between section 318 and treaties, etc
321Publication of agreements entered into under section 315, 316, 317, or 318
322Registered user systems for electronic provision of documents
323Registration of users of registered user systems
324Access generally restricted to registered users
325Documents provided using registered user system must be provided in prescribed way
326Assignment, use, and security of unique user identifier
327Use of unique user identifier presumed secure
328Regulations in relation to access
329Offences in relation to unauthorised access to or improper use of registered user system
330Offence in relation to interference with registered user system
331Offences in relation to security of, or unauthorised use of, unique user identifiers
332Customs must keep records of transmissions to or from registered user systems
333Application for Customs ruling
334Time when application may be made
335Making application
336Making of Customs ruling
337When chief executive may decline to make ruling
338Notice of Customs ruling
339Effect of Customs ruling
340Confirmation of basis of Customs ruling
341Amendment of Customs ruling
342Effect of amendment to Customs ruling
343Cessation of Customs ruling, etc
344Appeal from decisions of chief executive
345No liability where Customs ruling relied on
346Publication of Customs rulings
347Process for administrative reviews
348Establishment of Customs Appeal Authorities
349Function of Customs Appeal Authority
350Customs Appeal Authorities generally
351Offence in relation to false or misleading statement intending to deceive
352Offence in relation to failure to attend, give evidence, supply certain things, etc
353Other offences in relation to Customs Appeal Authorities
354Keeping of records
355Application to keep records outside New Zealand
356Offences in relation to records
357Giving Customs access to records
358Offences in relation to failure to give Customs access to records
359Interference with goods
360Interference with cargo
361Interference with seals, etc
362Unauthorised use of seals, interference with sealed Customs packages, etc
363Offences for failure to make entry, etc
364Offences in relation to erroneous or defective entries, etc
365Provisions relating to offences in relation to entries
366Offences in relation to declarations and documents that are erroneous
367Offence in relation to documents that are not genuine
368Offences in relation to declarations and documents that are known to be faulty
369Offences in relation to failure to update information supplied in advance
370Further offences in relation to records and information
371Defrauding Customs revenue
372Possession or custody of uncustomed goods or prohibited imports
373Purchase, sale, exchange, etc, of uncustomed goods or prohibited imports
374Possession or control of concealed goods
375Offence in relation to seized goods
376Threatening or resisting Customs officer
377Obstructing Customs officer or interfering with Customs property
378False allegation or report to Customs officer with intention of diverting deployment of Customs personnel, etc
379Killing or injuring Customs dog
380Personation of Customs officer
381Counterfeit seals, stamps, markings, substances, or devices
382Unauthorised presence in certain Customs-controlled areas
383Failure to answer questions
384False allegation or report to Customs officer alleging that offence committed
385Adapting craft for smuggling
386Possession of incomplete documents
387Offences in relation to use of goods
388Offences in relation to importation or exportation of prohibited goods
389Offences in relation to knowingly importing or exporting prohibited goods
390Offences in relation to knowingly importing or exporting objectionable publications
391Offence in relation to knowingly importing or exporting goods for dishonest purpose
392Publications imported or exported in course of official duties
393Offences in relation to exportation of goods
394Corporate liability
395Liability of principal and agent
397Court may order payment of money in respect of duty
398Filing of charging document
399Infringement offences and fees
400Infringement notices
401Procedural requirements for infringement notices, etc
402Infringement fees to be paid into Crown Bank Account
403Regulations generally
404Regulations in relation to stores
405Regulations in relation to entries
406Regulations in relation to collection of duty
407Regulations for determining country of produce or manufacture
408Regulations for recovering costs for attendance of Customs officers, etc
409Regulations for recovering costs of granting certificates of clearance, etc
410Regulations in relation to sale of goods by chief executive
411Regulations in relation to activities of Customs officers outside New Zealand
412Incorporation of provisions of international agreements by reference in regulations
413Levies for recovering border processing costs
414Contents of border processing levy order
415Trust accounts for levy money payable to chief executive
416Effect of levy order
417Compliance audits
419Offences in relation to levy orders
420Defences for offences in relation to levy orders
421Chief executive’s rules
422Interaction with subpart 1 of Part 3 of Legislation Act 2012 [Repealed]
423Giving notice to companies
424Giving notice to bodies corporate other than companies
425Giving notice to individuals
426Receipt of notices
427Chief executive to give written reasons for decisions open to appeal to Customs Appeal Authority
428Declarations under Act
429Burden of proof
430Documents made overseas
431Proof of rules made by chief executive [Repealed]
432No limitation on claims by Crown to recover duties or in forfeiture proceedings
433Payments by chief executive out of public money
434Foreign currency
435Certificates of origin
436Fish, etc
437Use of force must be reported
438Annual report must state total of electronic devices searched
439Annual report must report on initiatives to reduce compliance costs for businesses with strong record of compliance
440Working hours of Customs
441Entry required for human remains
442Repeal of Customs and Excise Act 1996
443Other consequential repeals, revocations, and amendments

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows: