Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Institute Opposes Latest Anti-Business Tax

9 April 2002

The Importers Institute made a submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee opposing Jim Anderton's latest anti-business initiative: a new tax of $15 million on importers.

From 1 June, importers will have to pay $18 on each shipment, courtesy of the Minister of so-called "Business Development." Mr Anderton facetiously called this new tax a "subsidy reduction" and attempted to justify it by comparing it with fees charged in other countries. We pointed out to the Committee that the New Zealand Customs Service, in consultation with users, implemented an electronic import/export clearance service based on modern technology. This resulted in the current pricing structure of less than $2.00 per document. New Zealand importers already pay a contractor appointed by Customs to operate this simple email exchange system. The fees are much lower than those levied by the Australian and US administrations, because their interactive mainframe terminal systems are older and more costly.

Incidentally, the last government promised that the current email system contract, awarded to a company called ECN without a formal tender, would be put up for open tender after the first twelve months of operation. The current government, however, decided to continue with this arrangement. We invited the Select Committee to investigate this irregularity.

WTO Rules (GATT Article VIII: Fees and Formalities connected with Importation and Exportation) allow the imposition of some customs processing fees provided they are "limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered and shall not represent indirect protection to domestic producers or a taxation on imports for fiscal purposes".

Mr Anderton specifically excluded exports from the new tax. This means that the new tax is little more than a backdoor tariff - and, as such, inconsistent with our WTO obligations.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation

Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...


National: The Heat Is On Tinetti As Strike Action Begins
The heat is on Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti to front up and speak to firefighters as they prepare to take strike action today, National’s Fire and Emergency spokesperson Todd Muller says... More>>

National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Serious Fraud Office: Leave Sought To Appeal NZ First Foundation Decision
Leave has been sought to appeal the decision in the Serious Fraud Office’s NZ First Foundation prosecution... More>>

Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>




InfoPages News Channels