About the Border Clearance Levy refunds
The border clearance levy (BCL), also know as the Border Processing Levy (BPL), helps pay for essential biosecurity services to keep pests and diseases out of New Zealand.
The Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI's) portion of the BCL is currently $8.50 (plus GST) per passenger and is collected by airlines on the passengers’ behalf as part of the ticket price, alongside the Customs BCL.
It has been identified that the MPI BCL may have been incorrectly collected from inbound passengers between 1 July and 17 December 2020. To fix this, MPI has established a process for affected travellers to claim a refund.
Eligibility for a levy refund
You are eligible for a refund if you entered New Zealand:
- as a paying passenger between 1 September and 17 December 2020 and were liable to pay the BCL
- between 1 July and 31 August 2020 and did not receive assistance through the Government's Aviation Relief Package. (Between 1 July and 31 August 2020, the Government's Aviation Relief Package provided airlines an offset for the BCL. Due to the existence of this subsidy, applicants will need to provide a receipt or ticket that demonstrates that you were charged the levy).
Some classes of passengers are not eligible for a refund
Passengers who are not liable for the BCL include transit passengers and passengers under the age of 2 years. You are also not eligible for a refund if you were a passenger who arrived in New Zealand on:
- a craft being operated by the New Zealand Defence Force or the defence forces of any Government other than that of New Zealand
- a craft being used wholly for diplomatic or ceremonial purposes of any Government
- a craft being used wholly for humanitarian missions or in response to an emergency or a crisis (other than paid passengers on COVID-19 repatriation flights)
- a craft being used for the purposes of an official expedition of a contracting party
- a non-passenger commercial craft.
How to request a levy refund
- Download and fill out the Border clearance levy refund form. [PDF, 600 KB]
- Attach the completed PDF and the necessary verification documents to an email and send it to email@example.com
You will need to provide:
- your name as it appears on your passport
- your date of arrival in New Zealand and flight number
- your bank account number, name of bank and name on the account
- a method of verifying your bank details (see PDF form for types of verification documents accepted).
For a refund between 1 July and 31 August 2020 inclusive, you will also need to provide evidence that you were charged the BCL.
Refunds to an overseas bank account
If you are requesting the refund to a non-New Zealand bank account, you will need to fill in the relevant further fields in the form and attach English translations if necessary.
Note that overseas bank account applications will take longer for MPI to process and that an overseas bank may charge fees for this transfer.
Privacy and security checks
To verify your eligibility for a refund MPI will check the information you provide against personal and travel information stored in the Joint Border Management System (JBMS).
- The information you provide will only be used by MPI for the purposes of verifying and processing your refund.
- It is voluntary to provide the requested information to MPI. However, we will be unable to process your request without it.
- You have the right to access and correct any information that we hold about you.
- For more information about how MPI handles personal information and your rights under the Privacy Act to request access to and correction of any information you provide to us, refer to the Transparency and privacy statement on this website.
Who to contact
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org