Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says Customs has destroyed over 2.5 tonnes of abandoned tobacco and collected $1.35 million in additional duty and taxes since the drop in tobacco duty free limits last November.
“People seem to be learning about the change. The amount of tobacco abandoned at airports by those not wanting to pay duty is dropping from the 100 kilograms Customs was initially collecting every week,” Ms Wagner says.
“The change was well signalled in advance and advertising to highlight the change continues. Customs’ passenger surveys show most people are aware of and accept the change in regulations.
“Customs recorded over 7,600 individual transactions for people choosing to pay duty, with the total collected in the six months adding to over $1.35 million.
“Nonetheless, 2.5 tonnes of cigarettes and tobacco left at airports is an incredible amount, and I’m pleased Customs is actively supporting the aim of making New Zealand smoke-free by 2025,” Ms Wagner says.