Electronic Lodgement of MAF Quarantine Declarations

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 system.

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 the latest.

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 otherwise.

An overview of the process is contained in the Process Advice document available on the New Zealand Customs Service website at www.customs.govt.nz/library/technical+publications/default.asp .

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 http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/border/transitional-facilities/sea-containers/index.htm . Fact sheets explaining the MAF container responses are also available on the same website.

Questions about ECI lodgement should be directed to feedback@customs.govt.nz and questions about QDs should be directed to border.management@maf.govt.nz .

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 co-operation.

"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 and Customs.

"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."



Last Updated: 30 September 2010

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