TIA: New Zealand travel tax reduction welcome but concerned about lack of consultation

    Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) stated (02-Feb-2018) a planned reduction in the Border Clearance Levy travel tax is the “right response given the surplus it has raised”. The levy was introduced at the beginning of 2016 to fund the New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) passenger border services, and is expected to have an accumulated surplus of about NZD21.1 million (USD15.4 million) by the end of Jun-2018. International air passengers have been paying NZD21.57 (USD15.71), while cruise passengers have been paying NZD26.22 (USD19.09). The levy is to be set at NZD18.73 (USD13.64) for air passengers and NZD22.82 (USD16.61) for cruise passengers and will apply from 01-Jul-2018 to 30-Jun-2019. TIA added that the lack of consultation over the move is “concerning”. TIA CEO Chris Roberts says he is pleased that Customs and MPI are now proposing to slightly reduce the levy, but “we regret no opportunity has been provided to make suggestions for improving border services or to be able to review the planned spending of the two agencies”. [more – original PR]