New Customs law good news for everyone

The new Customs and Excise Act will enable Customs to adapt to a changing world and is good news for everyone in New Zealand, the Acting Comptroller of Customs, Christine Stevenson, said today.

“I am delighted we now have the Customs and Excise Act 2018. This modern and easy to use legislation will help Customs to manage the rapid changes taking place in trade, travel, security, and technology. It will provide greater clarity and transparency and reduce compliance costs, while providing a balance between individual rights and protection of New Zealand.

“The Act will allow our Customs officers who work hard at protecting our border to do the best job they can by giving them the ability to better identify and prioritise risks. It will mean more effective and streamlined processes for our importers and exporters, and it will foster stronger business growth for our country by giving businesses more flexibility and a greater understanding of their obligations.”

Christine Stevenson said there had been extensive consultation with many business and industry organisations ahead of development of the legislation.

“We talked to many companies that would be most affected by the new law and we welcomed both the substantial feedback we received and the many submissions made to the select committee on the draft Bill. Most of the changes that will occur from the Act were identified by businesses as having the potential to lower their costs and make their lives easier.

“Some of the changes include:

A new valuation rulings service to help remove uncertainty for importers when they are unsure of the value of goods.
The ability for businesses to store records offshore or in the cloud. This aligns with modern business practice and with Inland Revenue.
A new administrative review service that will be more administratively efficient and will lower cost to industry.
“We are looking forward to implementation of the Act on 1 October 2018. Between now and then, Customs will be working hard to ensure that everyone affected by the changes is aware of what they are and what they will mean for them.”

The Customs and Excise Act 2018 received Royal Assent last Thursday following its third Reading in Parliament on 22 March 2018.