The Free Trade Agreement ensures that customs procedures in both the UK and New Zealand are transparent and efficient and that the UK and New Zealand’s ability to maintain effective customs control is maintained.

Simplifying data and documentation requirements

The UK and New Zealand have committed to simplifying documentation and data requirements with a view to accelerating the release of goods from customs and reducing the time and cost of compliance for traders.

This includes:

  • allowing customs declarations to be submitted electronically
  • using electronic/automated systems for risk analysis and targeting
  • the introduction of single window systems
  • allowing duties, taxes, fees, and charges to be paid electronically

Further simplification of customs procedures

The UK and New Zealand have agreed that eligible traders in both countries can benefit from measures that further simplify customs procedures. This should include:

  • reduced data and documentation requirements for customs declarations, including for low-value consignments
  • deferred payment of duties and taxes until after the release of those imported goods
  • aggregated customs declarations that cover multiple imports
  • use of a guarantee with a reduced amount or a waiver from use of a guarantee

Release of goods from customs

The UK and New Zealand have committed to releasing all goods from customs as quickly as possible but in any case, within 48 hours of arrival provided:

  • all required documentation has been submitted on or prior to the arrival of the goods
  • the goods are not subject to physical examination or inspection
  • all other regulatory requirements for release have been met (e.g. SPS checks)

Perishable goods and expedited shipments will, under normal circumstances, be released within 6 hours if the requirements listed above have been met.

Perishable goods will be given appropriate priority when scheduling any required examinations and, in exceptional circumstances, perishable goods may be released outside the business hours of the customs authority.

The UK and New Zealand will either arrange or allow an importer to arrange for the proper storage of perishable goods pending their release – storage facilities and transport arrangements arranged by the importer may require approval by the relevant authorities.

Both countries have also committed to ensuring that:

  • traders can submit information electronically prior to the physical arrival of goods
  • goods can be released without temporary transfer to warehouses
  • goods can be released prior to the final determination of customs duties, taxes, fees, and charges

Advance rulings

Before exporting their goods, traders can request a legally binding, written decision from the relevant customs authority on the tariff classification and origin of their product. Both the UK and New Zealand will ensure that the trader receives the ruling within 90 days after receiving the request.

Advance rulings will be available for:


UK Advanced Origin Ruling

New Zealand Customs Rulings

Tariff classification:

UK Advanced Tariff Ruling

New Zealand Tariff Rulings


The UK and New Zealand will ensure transhipment operations are facilitated through their territories and allow for goods to be moved under customs control from one office of entry to another for clearance.


Neither the UK nor New Zealand will require the mandatory use of customs brokers. Transparent and objective rules will be applied when licensing customs brokers.

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