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eGates play an important role at the border, allowing an increasing number of eligible passengers to quickly and easily complete border checks

Customs processes and risk assesses a record 14.46 million international passengers

NZ Customs processed and risk assessed a record 14.46 million international passengers in the year to 30 June 2019 – an increase of 3.5% compared to the previous 12 months.

WEB EXCLUSIVE

NZ Customs says 97% of international passengers (13.97 million) arrived or departed at one of New Zealand’s five international airports, with the remaining international passengers arriving or departing through our seaports.

Terry Brown, group manager border operations, says this past year has seen Customs continue to provide a positive and streamlined experience for travellers, almost all of whom complied with our country’s border entry requirements.

“In the past 12 months, Customs processed 96% of commercial air travellers within 45 minutes of their plane arriving. Our eGates have continued to play an important role at the border, allowing an increasing number of eligible passengers to quickly and easily complete border checks, while Customs officers focus their attention on higher-risk travellers.”

Over the past five years, the proportion of arriving passengers using eGates at our airports has increased from 36.7% in the year to 30 June 2015 to 58.1% in the year to 30 June 2019.

Improved systems and processes

Mr Brown says increasing passenger numbers means that Customs is focused on continuously improving its systems and processes. 

“The past year has seen the removal of the international departure card, the introduction of an updated and easier-to-use international arrival card, the extension of eGate eligibility to citizens of Singapore, and a new process to improve the arrival experience for international passengers permanently disembarking from cruise ships coming from Australia. All these changes help to improve the traveller experience, and we’ll continue this work in the coming year,” he adds.

“I’m very proud of our staff, across the country, who work every day to protect New Zealand’s borders, while ensuring that legitimate travellers have a high-quality Customs experience, when arriving or departing New Zealand,” says Mr Brown. 

The New Zealand Customs Service is the government organisation that protects the community from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and craft across the border. Established in 1840, it is New Zealand’s oldest government agency. Customs works closely with other border agencies, in particular the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Police, Aviation Security and Immigration New Zealand.


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