Deferred payment account, NZ Customs

1 month processing time before.

1 week processing time after.

The problem

Companies that import products into New Zealand can apply to NZ Customs for a deferred payment account. This account enables them to:

  • delay paying Customs charges for up to 7 weeks
  • pay a month's transactions in a single payment.

The account saves these businesses considerable time and administrative overhead, but the process for setting the account up was paper-based and manual, and could take up to 12 weeks to process.

This wait time could cost a business a significant amount in brokerage fees until the account was activated and they could pay GST themselves directly.

"In business, three months’ delay can be devastating. One shipment could be $8,000 worth of GST and then you can only recover that 2-3 months later... it does impact your cashflow substantially."

The solution

We worked with Customs to build a form that would allow businesses to apply for their accounts entirely online.

Because customers can apply and submit their documents online, they need to provide less information than they did previously, and are more likely to submit the right information first time.

Using Business Connect has also given Customs staff an online case management tool they can use to manage applications that were previously managed manually by email.

The results

Processing time has been reduced from 30 days to one week.

The team at Customs tell us they are noticing:

  • better quality applications
  • a decrease in customer enquiries and follow-ups required
  • an increase in productivity and more time to do other work
  • fewer documents being sent through email.

Contact us

Get in touch to find out more about how Business Connect could help your organisation deliver better online services, faster.

You can email us at

Last updated: 29 September 2023