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Customs eGates open to more travelers

Customs eGates open to more travelers

BERLINA: European visitors from France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands can set about sightseeing and looking for Hobbits more quickly now they have the green light to use Customs’ eGates. Formerly known as SmartGates, eGates allow eligible passengers to complete immigration checks quickly and easily without talking to a Customs officer.

Kiwis, Aussies, Brits, Canadians and Americans have been passing through the gates for sometime, while Chinese ePassport holders were last month also granted permission to use them.

“Expanding eGate to more countries will help to manage the increasing number of travellers arriving and departing New Zealand,” Customs’ Anne Marie Taggart says.

“It also means that Customs officers can focus on travellers that may present a risk.”

More than 24 million people have used the gates since their introduction at New Zealand airports in 2009, with plans underway to allow more countries’ citizens to use the gates in the near future.

The eGates are located in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.