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Duties and Tax Exemption

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below: 

4.1 Government Contact List 

Emergency Response:

[Note: This section contains information which is related and applicable to 'crisis' times. These instruments can be applied when an emergency is officially declared by the Government.  When this occurs, there is usually a streamlined process to import goods duty and tax free.]

 

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

  No

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

  No.

 (Government has approved application but no specified date as yet)

OCHA Model Agreement

No

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

No

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

No

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

SECOND SCHEDULE Section 10(3)(b)

 Exempt importations

1. Passengers' baggage and personal effects admitted free of duty and import levy under references 85, 86 and 87 of the Customs Tariff Act 1980 and section 7 A of the Cook Islands Amendment Act 1981.

2. Goods admitted free of duty and import levy and entered into a Customs Bonded Warehouse under the Customs Tariff Act 1980.

3. Containers containing goods, being ordinary trade containers for packing of goods; or

4. Goods imported:

(a) by or on behalf of any overseas government for its use in the Cook Islands whether in an office established by that overseas government or in any approved aid project; or

(b) by or on behalf of the United Nations, Pacific Forum Secretariat or the South Pacific Commission or any agency of those organisations for approved project in the Cook Islands; or

(c) for use in any approved aid project in the Cook Islands; or

(d) by or on behalf of the University of the South Pacific for use at its centre on Rarotonga; or

(e) by a non profit body as donation for use in any project in the Cook Islands; or

(f) by any religious organisation, for its own use or for a specific church activity or project in the Cook Islands (except motor vehicles and motor cycles); or

(g) by any organisation for use in public projects in the Cook Islands, being projects designed primarily for the benefit of a particular island, vaka or village community; or

(h) by any school for educational purposes in the Cook Islands; or

(i) by or on behalf of any person or organisation being uniforms or sporting equipment to be donated to any sporting group in the Cook Islands;

(j) by or on behalf of any person requiring life saving medical supplies.

 

Organisations classed as Non-profit under Section 42 of the Income Tax Act 1996 are entitled to import goods duty free. Other organisations can do so provided those goods are then donated to other organizations such as sporting or community groups and not sold for profit or kept for their own benefit or use.  

Organisational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

 UN Agencies are recognised as being exempt from paying duty on goods they import for use in an office established for that agency or for any approved project or approved aid project

Non Governmental Organisations

Require approval from the Cook Islands Tax Department for classification as a Non-Profit Organisation under Section 42 of the Income Tax Act 1996 (3-yearly audits after they are initially classified)

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure


Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

Certification of Non-Profit Status or affiliation to UN or other Approved Agency.

Certification of approval for project or aid imported goods are to be used for.

Documentation for the goods to be imported.

Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)

1.  Application to Tax department for Non-Profit Status registration.

2. Registration documentation as Non Profit Organisation forwarded to Customs Comptroller (once registered with Customs this step does not need to be repeated)

3. Documentation verifying (a) goods to be imported and (b) their intended use/recipients

    forwarded  to Customs Comptroller

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements


 

  Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI  (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles  &  Spare Parts

Staff  & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

Yes copy

Yes copy

Yes copy

Yes copy l

Yes copy

Yes copy

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Packing Lists

Packing list / container list,   copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Other Documents

 Documentation detailing where goods are intended to be used  i.e proof of Government approval for project or aid project or approved recipient body.

Additional Notes

 

 

Customs Clearance

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements

The Customs Revenue and Border Protection Act 2012 requires that all goods imported or to be exported must be entered in such form and manner as may be prescribed before they are released from the control of Customs. The Customs Tariff Act 2012 determines the tariff classification of goods to be entered and the duty rate applicable on imported goods. The form of entry may vary according to the value of the goods and the circumstances of their import or export. Details of this information may be found on Customs website (www.mfem.gov.ck/customs) or obtained from any Customs office.

 

Bill of lading, Cargo release order, Commercial invoice, Customs import declaration, Pre-shipment inspection (Clean report of findings), Technical standard/health certificate, Terminal handling receipts will be required

Embargoes

None

Prohibited Items

Fruit, Meat, Livestock, Drugs, Narcotics, Indecent pornographic material,  Fireworks, Firearms, Gunpowder, Ammunition

General Restrictions

 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements


 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI  (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles  &  Spare Parts

Staff  & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

D&T Exemption Certificate

copy

copy

copy

copy

copy

copy

Invoice

Yes copy

Yes copy

Yes copy

Yes copy l

Yes copy

Yes copy

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Bill of lading, Certificate of Origin, Cargo Manifest copy

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Yes Original

Packing Lists

Packing list / container list,   copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Packing list / container list, copy

Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Other Documents

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Additional Notes

 

 

Transit Regime

There is no requirement for transit. The Cook Islands are not used as a transit stop for aid to other countries.

 

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