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New $16 per head arrival fee to hit travellers

New $16 per head arrival fee to hit travellers

By Pattrick Smellie

May 21 (BusinessDesk) - Tourists and travellers arriving in New Zealand will face a $16 per head new border clearance levy from Jan. 1 next year to deal with fast-growing demands on customs and quarantine services.

A $6 departure fee is also mooted under changes that will see travellers rather than taxpayers picking up the cost of arriving and departing the country.

“The government considers it is fairer for the costs to fall on passengers travelling internationally,” said Primary Industries and Customs Ministers Nathan Guy and Nicky Wagner in a statement of the $100 million annual cost of processing border clearances.

“Arriving air passenger volumes have grown by more than 18 percent from 4.4 million in 2009 to 5.2 million in 2014, and are expected to continue growing at around 3.5 percent each year.

“The levy will ensure our border processes stay fit for purpose into the future.”

Cargo clearance costs are already covered by fees.

The all-up $36 in charges for a return journey compared with Australian charges of around $58 and British charges worth some $142.

Also announced was a $24.9 million boost to operating funding and $2 million in capital expenditure for biosecurity services, to improve import health standards, more auditing of other countries’ biosecurity systems, more detector dogs at the border, and more X-ray machines to speed up passenger clearance.

An additional $4.7 million will be committed to fund more border security officers over the next four years.

(BusinessDesk)

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