New Zealand Customs Service
|New Zealand Customs Service
Te Mana Arai O Aotearoa (Māori)
|Logo of the New Zealand Customs Service.|
|Flag of the New Zealand Customs Service.|
|Annual budget||$150 Million|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|National agency||New Zealand|
|Governing body||New Zealand Government|
|Constituting instrument||Customs and Excise Act 1996|
|Headquarters||Wellington, New Zealand|
|Minister responsible||Maurice Williamson, Minister of Customs|
|Agency executive||Carolyn Tremain, Comptroller of Customs|
The Customs Service (In Māori, Te Mana Arai o Aotearoa) is a state sector organisation of New Zealand whose role is to provide border control and protect the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, as well as collecting duties and taxes on imports to the country. New Zealand's Minister of Customs is the Hon. Maurice Williamson.
The New Zealand Customs service is the oldest government department in New Zealand. Formed on January 5, 1840, it pre-dates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Its early establishment was necessary to collect revenue for the fledgling Government, and over the years duties, tariffs and taxes collected by Customs have remained a major source of revenue for the country, although customs has also been used to impose various control over the movement of people and the distribution of particular products, in particular alcohol and tobacco. In 1997 the New Zealand Customs Department was renamed the New Zealand Customs Service.
The Customs Service is responsible for intercepting contraband, and checks travellers and their baggage, as well as cargo and mail, for banned or prohibited items. It is also responsible for assessing and collecting Customs duties, excise taxes and Goods and Services Tax on imports and protecting New Zealand businesses against illegal trade. It exercises controls over restricted and prohibited imports and exports, including pornography, drugs, firearms and hazardous waste and also collects import and export data.
New Zealand Customs is responsible for documentation of all imports and exports (in 2006/7 this was 47 million imports and 33 million exports). Since 1999 all documentation to New Zealand Customs has been electronic.
The New Zealand Customs Service works closely with New Zealand's other border agencies, the Ministry for Primary Industries and Immigration New Zealand. New Zealand Customs is currently (2013) working on a Trade Single Window which is intended to provide a single place to lodge import and export documents with all of New Zealand Government.
New Zealand Customs officers continue to make significant seizures of pseudoephedrine, a precursor for Methamphetamine. Open source media and Customs reporting to government suggests that pseudoephedrine makes up the large majority of Customs seziures. These seizures have resulted in multiple arrests and successful prosecutions by Customs and Police officers.
In October 2010, then Comptroller of Customs Martyn Dunne advised a New Zealand Parliament committee that 796 kg of Pseudoephedrine, with a value of $90 million, had been seized in the nine months to 30 September, compared with 733 kg for the whole year in 2009. It was later revealed that Customs seized over a tonne of pseudoephedrine in 2010.
- New Zealand Customs Service
- Online biography of Minister Maurice Williamson
- Customs and Excise Act 1996 No 27 (as at 1 October 2008)