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Internet shopping could get you prosecuted

Internet shopping could get you prosecuted


Just because you could order something over the internet did not necessarily mean that it could be legally imported into New Zealand, Customs Minister Rick Barker warned today.

“When ordering Christmas gifts or buying for yourself over the internet, New Zealanders need to be careful that purchases don't contravene New Zealand law.

"People should ask themselves why the item they wish to buy isn't on sale in New Zealand.

"If there is any chance the item is illegal then seek clarification before you order it. Once an illegal or objectionable item is ordered the persons responsible for the importation are liable.”

Incoming international mail is screened, meaning prohibited imports such as guns, and offensive weapons are detected and seized. Other regular seizures include precursors for methamphetamine manufacture, objectionable material, and counterfeit and pirated goods such as DVDs and clothing.

Where a prohibited item is seized then those responsible risk prosecution and depending on the items, imprisonment is possible.

"The clear message is think before you buy," Mr Barker said.

In 2002-03 over 49 million mail items were screened and items intercepted included firearms, drugs, flora and fauna, pirated goods and objectionable material.

People wanting to clarify what is and is not permissible can ring 0800428786 (0800 4 CUSTOMS) or go to http://www.customs.govt.nz.

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