Customs and Excise (Prohibition of Imports Made by Slave Labour) Amendment Bill

  • defeated on 29 July 2009

Customs and Excise (Prohibition of Imports Made by Slave Labour) Amendment Bill

Member’s Bill


Explanatory note

General policy statement

Slavery was abolished by Britain in the 18th century, but in some parts of the world slavery or coerced labour still exists. In order to prevent slave-owners from profiting from their crime, both the United States and Belgium have passed legislation to prohibit the importation of goods produced by slavery into those countries.

In 2005 Trade Aid presented a petition signed by 17,000 people requesting that New Zealand follow suit by legislating to ban the import of products made by slave labour.1 This bill fulfils that request by amending the Customs and Excise Act 1996 to make goods produced in whole or in part by slave labour a prohibited import.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 provides for the bill to come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Clause 3 is the purpose clause.

Clause 4 provides that the bill amends the Customs and Excise Act 1996 (the principal Act).

Clause 5 inserts a definition of “slave labour” into the principal Act. The definition mirrors the definition in international law as laid out in the 1926 Slavery Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Clause 6 amends the first schedule of the principal Act.

1 Petition 2005/151 of Geoff White on behalf of Trade Aid and 17,000 others.