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Customs Launches New Website

The New Zealand Customs Service new website goes live today.

A new and distinctive homepage, improved navigation and a powerful search tool will provide rapid and user-friendly access to Customs information.

Customs Chief Financial Officer John Kyne says the site has been constructed “keeping in mind the needs of those who’ll be using it - principally travellers, importers, exporters and manufacturers”.

For travellers, the site offers easy-to-find information on what can and cannot be imported into New Zealand. A particularly useful feature for those planning to visit New Zealand is that the New Zealand passenger arrival card is available on the site in 27 different languages.

For businesses, vital information required by importers is now available quickly and easily. For example importer supplier code details, required in the preparation of import clearance documentation, will be easier to access. Supplier code information has been available on the previous website as a series of static Adobe Acrobat files but on the new site, this information is contained in a database and be accessed using a single search tool.

The site has been developed in compliance with the New Zealand Government Web Guidelines and is designed to accommodate users with visual or physical disabilities, or technological limitations. The site also meets the requirements of the New Zealand Government Locator Service metadata standards ensuring that the website information is described, managed and catalogued in a consistent way. This will enable the metadata to be easily extracted for use over the planned new Government Portal.

Also new on the site is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that have been compiled by Customs Call Centre staff, covering everything from travellers duty-free allowances to advice on importing computers.

The homepage features an eye-catching banner incorporating four elements of significance to Customs:

- New Zealand Flag - representing sovereignty

- Traditional Maori carving of the God of the Forests Tane Mahuta - representing culture and heritage

- Fern - representing the land of New Zealand - Aotearoa

- Sea - representing the borders of sea and sky.

Customs has developed this website in conjunction with Datacom. The New Zealand-owned IT Services company provided website development expertise and has enabled Customs business requirements and technical vision to be realised. The site utilises a content management system that allows non-IT Customs staff to manage publishing and maintain content internally, reducing the dependence on specialist skills and outsourcing. Datacom will both house the site and manage it, as an extension of the broad outsourcing agreement it has with Customs.

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