Contraband - NZ Customs


Cricket world cup success

Customhouse in Wellington

Cricket world cup success

The Cricket World Cup 2015 saw the arrival of 14 competing teams, over 400 accredited players and officials, their support staff, family, and fans across our border – which meant action at the airports had to be as spot-on and swift as it was at the grounds. We spoke to Customs Operations Manager Paul Emley about some of the tournament successes for Customs.

As the first faces that the participating teams, VIPs, officials, and fans saw at the border, it was up to Customs to make sure they all received a positive ‘welcome here’ by making the process as smooth as possible.

“We completed a total of 24 international arrivals and 25 international departures of teams during the tournament, including the New Zealand BlackCaps on their way to the final in Melbourne,” says Paul.

“It took around ten minutes per team to pass through Customs on arrival,” says Paul.

The average processing time per team, from when the first person arrived to the last person and their luggage being processed by the Ministry for Primary Industries, was just 25 minutes.

“Some of the teams had up to 40 people, including their administration and coaching staff, so it was great to be able to get through the formalities quickly and send the teams off to prepare for their matches,” says Paul. “Everything went without a hitch.”

Dedicated booths or separate processing areas were set aside for arriving teams and officials and this, combined with us working together with other border agencies, made the process faster.

“The departure process was really straightforward too with teams and officials assisted by local Cricket World Cup personnel through the normal departure process.”

Both leading up to and during the tournament, Customs officers were also looking out for CWC 2015 counterfeit goods, fake tickets, or tickets purchased with stolen credit card details.

“When New Zealand and Australia won the right to co-host the 2015 Cricket World Cup in 2006, both countries provided certain guarantees to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to protect the brands associated with the tournament,” says Paul.

“During the tournament Customs processed over 100 CWC related commercial consignments, including CWC merchandise, souvenirs, and CWC clothing.

“We intercepted one shipment of shirts which used the Indian cricket team’s colours and names. The shirts had the words ‘Cricket World Cup’ on the neck label. Our investigators checked with the CWC brand management company who confirmed the importer was not licensed to use the CWC branding." The importer surrendered the goods.

While the Cricket World Cup 2015 is over and Australia has been crowned the winner, both the BlackCaps and New Zealand Customs can be proud of what turned out to be a very successful tournament.