Before shopping online, you need to be aware that you may have to pay Customs charges and/or GST on top of the advertised purchase price when the goods arrive in New Zealand.
You can use our online estimator What's My Duty to estimate how much duty you may need to pay on many commonly imported items.
You should also be aware of what goods cannot be brought into the country or which goods need approval before bringing in.
Before ordering, make sure of the import regulations as they apply to you, and what charges may be due on the goods you wish to bring in.
Collecting GST on low-value imports
Customs is always looking at ways to improve its services. We aim to make complying with border requirements easy to do for traders and travellers.
The rapid growth of online shopping has led to concerns that goods and services bought online from an overseas supplier are not subject to the payment of duties, in particular GST.
Customs, Inland Revenue, and Treasury are currently looking at whether it is feasible to collect GST from overseas online purchases. A discussion paper outlining a range of issues related to online shopping and options for collecting GST is being developed and will be available for public comment later this year.
The Government does not currently collect GST on lower value goods for practical reasons – the administrative costs would be higher than that GST collected. A 2011 review found it was not cost effective to collect GST on items under $400 (unless there is duty to collect as well). But if improvements can be made to the way goods cross the border and GST is collected, then the threshold at which benefits of collection outweigh the costs may decrease.