5 Nov 2018

International travellers say goodbye to NZ departure cards

6:45 am on 5 November 2018

Travellers flying out of the country will no longer have to fill in departure cards.

A New Zealand Passenger Departure Card.

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

From Monday, the practice will be axed following a government announcement in August.

International travellers fill in about 6.5 million departure cards each year.

Getting rid of the cards matches best practice overseas and will improve the travel experience for passengers, a spokesperson at Customs NZ, Brent Litherland, said.

"It's expected to save travellers more than 100,000 hours in time," he said.

But travellers carrying more than $10,000 in cash or currency will still need to declare the money.

"It's not illegal to carry large sums of cash, but the law does require passengers to declare that cash to customs officers to ensure it's been gained through legitimate purposes," Mr Litherland said.

Statistics NZ said the cards were designed to gather information about travellers but now there are other methods it can use.

Customs NZ said the government will continue to collect information such as passport information, departure date, actual time spent in New Zealand and actual time away from New Zealand using electronic systems.

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