Advanced Search | Help
26 October 2004
Electronic lodgement of MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) container
Quarantine Declarations through the Customs system will be rolled out from
October 26 2004.
The New Zealand Customs Service and MAF have developed a new electronic
system that will enable industry to submit MAF's container Quarantine
Declarations (QDs) electronically, via Customs' import entries and electronic
cargo information (ECI) reports.
The system will enable MAF to electronically risk profile all arriving sea
containers, a key recommendation of the sea container review completed last
year. It will also provide electronic messages to port companies and Customs
brokers about the MAF status of each container, and will enable electronic MAF
clearance of low-risk containers from the wharf, which should reduce the time
and paperwork required under the current manual clearance system.
While empty containers will eventually be part of the electronic system,
discussions continue with shipping companies on the most effective options for
electronic reporting, and they will not be included in the initial introduction
of the system on October 26.
For all other containers, there will be a phased introduction of the new
The first phase will begin in Tauranga on October 26, initially with one
broker using the system.
The second phase will enable all those importing loaded containers through
the Port of Tauranga to use the system. This is due to happen by October 31 at
In the third phase, the system will be rolled out to other ports.
Those lodging declarations will be kept up to date via email with the exact
timing for each step. They should continue to manually lodge QDs until advised
An overview of the process is contained in the Process Advice document
available on the New Zealand Customs Service website at
Fuller details are contained in the document New Electronic Process for MAF
Quarantine Declarations for Imported Containers. This document is available on
the MAF website at
. Fact sheets explaining the MAF container responses are also available on the
Questions about ECI lodgement should be directed to
questions about QDs should be directed to
MAF National Adviser Border Risk Management, Carolyn Whyte, says the system
aims to facilitate rapid clearance of containers.
"We have worked closely with industry representatives to find a way to
deliver the best outcomes for all parties."
Customs Information Systems Manager, Peter Rosewarne, says the project is a
'first' for this level of inter-Government agency information systems
"It is important to get it right, and establishing a sound connection between
our systems provides us with a good basis for moving forward as we look at
further integration of our information management."
Peter says it is important to remember that while the systems are being
integrated, importers still need to ensure they gain clearances from both MAF
"While we work closely together to protect New Zealand, we are interested in
different risks and different information about containers and cargo. It is
important that the legal requirements of both agencies are met."