Custom Controlled Area

The Customs Revenue and Border Protection Act 2012 (‘CRBP Act’) and the Customs Revenue and Border Protection Regulations 2012 (‘the CRBP Regulations’) require that areas used for certain specified purposes, including the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and sugary drinks, must be licensed as Customs Controlled Areas (‘CCAs’). This fact sheet explains what these areas are, and the licensing procedures.

Warning: The use of an area that is required to be licensed as a CCA without first obtaining a CCA licence from the Cook Islands Customs Service is a criminal offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding $100,000 (for an individual) and $200,000 (for a company).

WHAT KIND OF AREAS NEED TO BE LICENSED AS CCAS?

Any areas that are used for:

  1. the manufacture of excisable goods including alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and sugary drinks (for example, premises used to manufacture beer or soft drinks); or

  2. the storage of imported goods or excisable goods pending the sale of those goods on a duty-free basis (for example, businesses selling duty-free goods to persons arriving into and departing from the Cook Islands); or

  3. the deposit, keeping, or securing of imported or excisable goods, without payment of duty, pending export to another country (for example, areas used to temporarily store goods that have been imported into the Cook Islands but are being transshipped to another country); or

  4. the processing of craft arriving in or departing from Cook Islands (for example, airports) or the loading /unloading of goods onto or from such craft (for example, areas used to unload freight from airplanes and ships).

WHAT ARE EXCISABLE GOODS?

Excise duty is applied to locally manufactured goods that are subject to Customs Import Duty (for example, locally manufactured alcohol and sugary drinks).
Goods subject to excise duty are set out in Chapter 99 of Schedule 1 to the Customs Tariff Act 2012. 
These goods include:

  • alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, cider and spirits
  • ethyl alcohol;
  • sugary drinks including soft drinks and sports drinks;
  • tobacco products including cigarettes; and
  • petrol, diesel and aviation fuel.

HOW DO I OBTAIN A LICENCE FOR A CCA?

An application for a CCA licence may be made by the owner or occupier of, or person operating in, the area, and lodged with your nearest Customs office.

Applications are by completing Form 1 (found on the Customs website www.mfem.gov.ck ) and submitting it to Customs. The application must include a plan in the form of a diagrammatic layout of the area to be licensed.

GRANT OR REFUSAL OF CCA LICENCE

Customs will consider the application and may request further information from the applicant.

After considering the application Customs may grant or refuse the application. If the application is refused Customs will advise the reasons for the refusal.

CCA licences are subject to the terms, conditions and restrictions outlined in the procedure statement (see below).

PROCEDURE STATEMENT FOR CCA LICENCES

Customs will issue a procedure statement to be signed by the CCA licensee. The procedure statement will detail the terms, conditions, restrictions and operating procedures that apply to the CCA licence.

The contents of the procedure statement will be reviewed by Customs from time to time.

VARIATION OR REVOCATION OF CONDITIONS

Customs may, by notice in writing, vary or revoke the terms, conditions, or restrictions to which the licence is subject or revoke those terms, conditions, or restrictions and impose new terms, conditions, or restrictions.

REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF

Customs may, at any time, revoke or suspend a CCA licence where: 

  1. a term, condition, or restriction specified in the licence has been contravened; or

  2. the area in respect of which the CCA licence was granted ceases to be used for any of the purposes for which the licence-holder was required to obtain a CCA licence; or

  3. the CCA licence-holder ceases to be the owner or occupier of, or operator in, the area in respect of which the CCA licence was granted; or

  4. Customs considers that the CCA licence-holder is no longer a fit and proper person to hold a CCA licence; or

  5. the prescribed annual CCA licence fee (if any) is due and has not been paid.

Customs will give motice of the suspension or revocation of the CCA licence in writing to the licence-holder.

SURRENDER OF LICENCE

A CCA licence may be surrendered at any time by the licence-holder giving one month’s notice in writing to Customs.

CLOSING OF A CCA

Where a CCA licence is suspended, revoked, or surrendered, Customs Duty will become due and payable on all dutiable goods within that area, unless Customs permits the goods to be removed to another CCA or to be exported.

TRANSFER OF A LICENCE

CCA licences cannot be transferred. If a new owner, occupier or operator wants an area to remain licensed, a new application must be made.

If a licence-holder moves to new premises a new licence application must be made.

The existing CCA licence for the previous premises will be cancelled.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO BE LICENSED?

CCA licensing requirements do not apply to tobacco and beer/wine manufactured in a private house or dwelling if the following conditions are met:

For tobacco-

  1. it must be manufactured by a person aged 18 years or older, and

  2. it must be for the person’s personal use and not for sale to any other person;

  3. it must have been grown by that person on their own land on which the house or dwelling is located; and

  4. the amount manufactured must not exceed 8 kilograms in any year.

For beer/wine-

  1. it must be exclusively for the person’s personal use and not for sale to any other person; and

  2. the amount manufactured must not exceed:

  • 20 litres of beer per month;

  • 10 litres of wine per month; or

  • 2 litres of spirits per month. 

In addition Customs may direct that an area need not be licensed as a CCA if he or she is of the opinion that: 

  1. it is not in the public interest to do so; or

  2. it is impracticable or unnecessary to do so.

ARE ANY FEES PAYABLE?

CCAs used for the manufacture of excisable goods (for example, premises used to manufacture beer or soft drinks) -  

  1. $200 for new licence; and

  2. $100 for annual renewal.

CCAs used for the deposit, keeping or securing of imported goods or excisable goods without payment of duty pending export to another country (for example, areas used to temporarily store goods that have been imported into the Cook Islands but are being transshipped to another country -

  1. $500 for new licence; and

  2. $400 for annual renewal.

CCAs used for the storage of imported goods or excisable goods pending the sale of those goods on a duty-free basis (for example, businesses selling duty-free goods to persons arriving into and departing from the Cook Islands) –  

  1. $500 for new licence; and

  2. $400 for annual renewal.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Contact the Cook Islands Customs Service, visit the Customs website www.mfem.gov.ck or call Customs on 29365