Government Consults on Passenger and Craft Border Clearance Cost Recovery

Media Release: New Zealand Government

Thursday, 17 September 1998

The Government this week released a discussion document outlining an implementation process for recovering the costs of Customs, Biosecurity and Immigration border clearance services. The new regime is planned to take effect from 1 July 1999, to recover costs of approximately $32 million per annum from port companies, in return for the provision of these services at the border.

In releasing the discussion document, the Hon John Luxton, recently appointed Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control and Associate International Trade said, "Recovering the costs of border clearance from port companies will result in the true cost of international travel being recognised. Unlike some other countries, presently New Zealand taxpayers bear the cost of passenger clearance at major international airports, although only some taxpayers enjoy the benefits of international travel, and more than half of international arriving passengers are not New Zealanders?"

The discussion document outlines the services to be delivered, the cost of these services, and proposals to recover those costs. It also proposes accountability arrangements and relationship management options to enable port companies to influence the cost of delivering the services.

"I would expect the introduction of full cost-recovery to lead to greater efficiencies in delivering these vital services at our borders. And the Prime Minister clearly signalled when she created the new Cabinet structure that, over time, there is a case for a single agency to control our borders."

From 24 September to 6 October officials will meet with affected organisations to discuss implementation of the policy. Meetings will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Submissions on the discussion document will close on 30 October, 1998. It is available on MAFs website at

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