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Border Processing Bill passes third reading


23 May 2015 Media Statement
Border Processing Bill passes third reading

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Customs Minister Nicky Wagner today welcomed law changes to help protect New Zealand at the border.
The Border Processing (Arrivals and Departures) Levy Bill, which creates a new border clearance levy to protect New Zealand from imported pests, diseases, illegal drugs and contraband, passed third reading today.
The levy will fund the costs of border processing incurred by the Ministry for Primary Industries and the New Zealand Customs Service and ensure that border services are sustainable.

“The number of international passengers arriving is growing by 3.5% a year which means the biosecurity threats to New Zealand are increasing, and the cost of a major incursion can be very high,” says Mr Guy.

“It is only fair that the costs for these services should be paid for by travellers themselves rather than the taxpayer. Over half of international travellers come from overseas and it is reasonable they should contribute towards this.”

“The levy will future-proof the border by ensuring that, as passenger volumes increase, border services can expand to meet increased demand,” Ms Wagner says.

“The levy will bring traveller clearance in line with cargo clearance, which is already funded by levies and fees.

“It will also bring New Zealand into line with many other countries that recover costs from travellers, including Australia, The United States, the United Kingdom and China, and will be at the lower end of the cost scale.

“Stakeholders and the public will get a chance to have their say. A discussion document outlining proposed options will be released for public feedback next month,” Ms Wagner says.
The levy is expected to take effect from 1 January 2016, and will be around $16 for arriving passengers and up to $6 for departing passengers – with the exact amounts subject to public consultation.
The levy, when combined with existing charges, will be around $36 for a return journey – lower than Australia’s A$55 (NZ$59) passenger charge and the United Kingdom’s £71 (NZ $150) long-haul passenger charge.

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