Tariff ruling request

Pre-importation rulings service for classification, origin and concessions

If you’re an importer or you make items, you can apply to us for a ruling on:

  • Tariff classification
  • country of origin
  • excise classification
  • any concessions items qualify for
  • interpretation of the rules of origin for an item.

You can use this ruling when you clear your items.

We give you the ruling in writing. It’s valid throughout NZ for 3 years after we issue it, as long as the facts and conditions of the original ruling don’t change.

Rulings only apply to:

  • the people who apply for them
  • the specific item(s) the ruling covers.

You will generally get your rulings within:

  • 150 days of giving us all the necessary information – country of origin rulings
  • 40 days of giving us all the necessary information –  other rulings.

You must amend your ruling if any of the facts of the original ruling change.

An amended ruling – that increases the duty you must pay – won’t apply if:

  • you import the item(s) within 3 months of the date we tell you we’re amending the ruling, and  you’ve entered already a binding contract before that date
  • your item(s) have already left their place of export on the date we tell you we’re amending the ruling
  • you’ve imported the item(s) on or before the date we tell you we’re amending the ruling, but the item(s) haven’t yet been cleared.  

Ruling benefits

  • Upfront decision on how your item(s) should be classified, their country of origin or whether they qualify for a concession o you can base your decisions on information that is reliable and upfront.
  • Uniform, binding decisions: Customs rulings are honoured at all NZ ports of entry.

Ruling costs

We charge a fee of $40.88 (including GST) per item, per ruling.

Ruling disagreements

If you disagree with the Customs ruling we give you, you can refer your case to the Customs Appeal Authority. Customs Appeal Authority Tribunal (Ministry of Justice).

Ruling applications and information

If you’re importing an item and you want a ruling on it, you must apply before you import.

If you’re applying for a ruling after you’ve imported the item, you must get permission from the Customs chief executive first.

To apply for a Customs ruling, complete one of the following:

The application must be in the name of the person importing the items, not in the name of a broker, consultant or other organization. Contact the Valuation, Origin and Classification (VOC) office for more information about rulings by email: voc@customs.govt.nz.