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Public Administration News  
New Zealand’s Automated Customs Service Successful
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: New Zealand
Created: Oct 15, 2013

New Zealand Customs’ automated passenger processing system continues enabling efficient service delivery, supported by the increasing use of e-passports in the Oceania region.


SmartGate was introduced in 2009 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and has since been used by 6.7 million passengers. Reaching targets set by the Government for 2015, it already processes 60,000 people a week.


It uses information in e-passports and facial recognition technology to perform customs and immigration checks, improving border security by allowing Customs to focus on high-risk travellers.


Customs Minister, Maurice Williamson, shares, “This technology has delivered on the Government’s vision for an improved trans-Tasman traveller experience, and this experience continues to be extended to other travellers too.”


In 2012, the eligible age for SmartGate users was brought down from 18 to 16 years. Recently, the service has been opened up to US and UK e-passport holders on departures. In the future, the Government may consider opening it up to other nationalities and further reducing the eligibility age.


“The next milestone will be seven million passengers having used the technology, and I’m told this will be reached by the end of the year,” adds the Minister.

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