New Zealand Law Society - New Customs and Excise Act begins on 1 October

New Customs and Excise Act begins on 1 October

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The Customs and Excise Act 2018 will come into force on 1 October 2018 and makes a number of changes from the Customs and Excise Act 1996 which it repeals.

The new Act is less prescriptive and more principles-based, as well as using more plain English. It also introduces 10 new services and initiatives and makes changes to existing services.

Information provided by the New Zealand Customs Service summarises the new services and initiatives as follows:

Valuation rulings: Customs can now make binding rulings on the value of imported goods.

Provisional values: Certain importers can now declare provisional values for their goods at the time of importation.

Compensatory interest and late payment penalties: There is a new system for charging compensatory (use of money) interest and late payment penalties.

Infringement notice scheme: A new infringement notice scheme will be introduced on 1 April 2019 replacing the petty offences regime.

Joint Border Management Systems (JBMS) competency and registration: Trade Single Window (TSW) users need to provide evidence of ongoing competency.

Administrative penalties: The same administrative penalties will apply to exporters, importers, and excise clients and will be capped at a maximum amount.

Administrative review process: Customs is introducing an internal review process so customers can more easily appeal duty assessment or penalty-related decisions.

Excisable goods: There are a number of changes to how Customs treats excisable goods – alcohol, fuel, tobacco.

Comptroller's discretion: The Chief Executive of Customs now has explicit statutory discretion to make and correct assessments, and collect the duty identified.

Storing business records: Customers can now apply to store their electronic business records outside New Zealand, including in the cloud.