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Traveller trials underway for new digital arrival card


Trials are underway for the new online system for international travellers that is set to replace paper arrival cards by the end of June.

The New Zealand Traveller Declaration will see arriving passengers fill in an online form containing questions about customs, biosecurity and immigration.

Customs deputy chief executive technology Sharon May said they had just completed a first trial of the new system, which consisted of 10 participants flying into Wellington Airport.

“We are working through the results of the trial but initial feedback from the participants said they found it quick and easy to use.”

More extensive trials would be run over the next couple of months across Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington airports, with the system on track to be implemented in June.

The process for entering New Zealand will undergo a big change later this year.

Bevan Read/Stuff

The process for entering New Zealand will undergo a big change later this year.

May said there would be support in place to ensure travellers who did not have access to a device or the internet were still able to complete a paper declaration.

There would also be a contact centre available 24/7 to support queries, or travellers would be able to ask a friend or family member to complete a declaration on their behalf.

“The digital declaration is an integral part of modernising our border experience as we transition away from the current manual paper passenger arrival card system,” May said.

“This modernisation allows us to continue developing our response to border risks and will streamline the processing of travellers into New Zealand.”

Some travellers have already had a taste of the New Zealand Traveller Declaration, as it was first introduced in March last year, to collect Covid-related information as New Zealand’s borders reopened.

After submitting the online form, travellers received a QR code which could then be printed or saved to a device, to present to border officials.

After filling out the New Zealand Traveller Declaration you received a QR code.

Supplied

After filling out the New Zealand Traveller Declaration you received a QR code.

The refreshed version is expected to follow a similar process, though Customs has said there will be “new features and improvements” to the system.

Unlike the paper arrival cards, which are generally handed out and completed on the plane, travellers would be encouraged to fill in the online form in advance, and update or confirm the information on arrival.



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