$3000 fine for false container declaration

Media contact: Jim Flack
Telephone: 029 894 0328

Conflicting declarations on the contents of a container arriving from China saw an Auckland woman fined in the Manukau District Court on 27 January 2015.

Xin Sun, 34, of Glen Eden Auckland, earlier pleaded guilty to a charge laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Biosecurity Act for providing false information to a Quarantine Officer and was subsequently fined $3000 plus court costs.

In September 2013 Mrs Sun provided a customs broker with a signed declaration and packing list which, amongst other items, declared the contents of the container as including Chinese medicines, baby food and children’s bicycles.

Subsequently, Mrs Sun discontinued using the services of the customs broker and provided a separate declaration directly to MPI herself which had a number of items of risk removed from the packing list.

The discrepancy in declarations was detected by the MPI border systems and a full supervised unload of the container was conducted.  Undeclared items were located which led to an investigation and subsequent court proceedings.

MPI Investigations Manager North David Blake says accurate declarations and clearing imported goods for biosecurity risks is vital to protect New Zealand’s environment.  Failure to make an accurate declaration of goods being imported is an offence and places New Zealand’s primary industries at risk.

The maximum penalty for an individual for this charge is up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

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