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Import fee a tax to drag back NZ's growth rate

Import fee a tax to drag back NZ's growth rate

The new import fee of $16 plus GST passed into law in Parliament today is just another tax that will help drag back New Zealand's rate of growth, says the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

The 'fee' is to apply to every commercial import entry and import declaration of over $50.

"The import fee is an additonal cost on New Zealand's exporters and importers alike," said Bruce Goldsworthy, EMA's Manager of Manufacturing Services.

"Minister Barker is plainly ignorant that his new tax will impose more costs on all goods produced and sold here, for export or local consumption. Many of our producers import components and raw materials.

"New Zealand consumers will end up paying the fee.

"Government credibility goes on the line when a Minister of the Crown makes statements like the one today. In one breath the Minister trumpeted that Customs 'paperwork once taking days is now handled in an average of 12 minutes with 97 per cent of imports handled online'. In the next he says efficiency gains of this sort have stretched Customs capability and resources to the limit.

"With productivity gains of the magnitude claimed, Customs obviously has no need of the extra income.

"The Minister's comment smack of duplicity since the fees to be collected are going to the Consolidated Fund, not to bolster border controls.

"New costs on business like this also contradict Government's often repeated claim that its objective is to get New Zealand back into the top half of OECD countries."

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