Minister outlines priorities for Customs

  • Hon Meka Whaitiri

Customs will have new legislation this year to reinforce its fight against the flow of illegal drugs into New Zealand, says Customs Minister Hon Meka Whaitiri. 

Speaking to a meeting of industry and business leaders in Auckland today, the Minister said the Customs and Excise Bill, currently before Parliament will modernise the whole business of Customs. 

The new Act will be the first major overhaul in more than 20 years of the legislation governing Customs, and is expected to take effect later this year. 

“I am also looking in the future at legislation that will improve the ability of Customs to make seizures at our borders.

“Open and honest dialogue between Customs, traders and travellers is the key to keeping the country’s borders secure without interfering unnecessarily with travel and trade. 

“By making it easier and more efficient to move goods and people across the border, Customs makes an important contribution to the economic well-being of the country as a whole. But it has to do so without compromising its key role of keeping out illicit substances and materials that harm our communities and people.  

“As an organisation, Customs is constantly striving to make improvements; to provide greater transparency, guidance and certainty for all the people who interact with it,” says Hon Meka Whaitiri.