The New Zealand Customs Service reminded Importers and their agents that vehicles containing alpha-type Takata airbags became prohibited imports from 31 May 2018. A mandatory recall order was issued by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on 4 April 2018. All goods covered by the order automatically become prohibited imports under the Fair Trading Act. The prohibition includes vehicles containing disabled airbags, but does not include vehicles that have had the airbags removed prior to importation. From 31 May 2018 vehicles containing alpha-type Takata airbags are NOT able to be initially registered in New Zealand, nor can they be sold in trade.

More information is available on the RightCar website, including links to assist in identifying affected vehicles. Used vehicle importers should check the available information, and if the vehicle is affected, they should get it fixed in the exporting country before export. If that isn’t an option, then the airbag(s) should be removed prior to export, to avoid importing a prohibited good. The importer should be aware that any vehicle in that state can not be registered in New Zealand, and replacement in New Zealand by the vehicle brand owner may take some time.