Private imports by post or courier

With the rise of internet shopping more and more New Zealanders are importing goods from overseas using postal and international courier services. Whether the goods are a pair of sunglasses from America or a carton of cigarettes from France; a cellphone from Hong Kong or a bolt of cloth from Scotland – all will be liable for Customs duties and charges when they arrive.

This description was last updated on: Friday, 15 April 2011

Detailed information related to Private imports by post or courier

Goods mailed into New Zealand may be subject to import duty. Import duties are calculated on the Customs value of the goods in New Zealand dollars.  

The goods may also be subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15%, based on the Customs value of the goods, and including the duty (if any) and postal/courier charges.  

Goods liable for duty and GST of NZ$60 or more cannot be released until the charges are paid.

There will also be an import entry transaction fee (IETF) and MPI biosecurity system entry levy

If your goods are valued at over NZ$1,000, you will need a client code.​

This detail was last updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012

If your goods are valued at over NZ$1,000, you will need a client code and a supplier code. These are unique numbers that identify you, as the importer, and also your supplier.

To apply for a client code:

  • Email or fax to Customs via the email or fax number provided on the Client code application form.
  • Include the correct proof of identity.

You will need to provide proof of your identity such as your passport or driver licence.

If you think you may already have a client code, please get in touch with our National Contact Centre to confirm.​

This detail was last updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Customs does not collect duty and GST where the total revenue payable on any one importation is less than $60.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 19 May 2011

However, the $60 exemption provision does not apply to alcohol or tobacco products. These will attract duty and GST in whatever quantity they are imported.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 15 April 2011

When your goods arrive in New Zealand you will be contacted by the freighting company to arrange clearance. For postal items, you will receive either an assessment notice advising the amount payable, or a letter requesting that you arrange clearance or produce further information. 

Where an assessment notice has been issued, your goods will be released as soon as you pay the charges. Payment can be made in any of the following ways: 

  • Internet banking – payment can be made through the bill payments section of your bank’s internet banking website. Search for and select 'New Zealand Customs Service' as the payee. In the “particulars” field enter the entry number shown in bold on your statement (eg, 4652498) and in the “code” field the version number located directly below the entry number on your statement (eg, 2).
  • Cheque – payment can be made by personal cheque. If the amount is greater than $1,000.00 a bank cheque must be issued. Cheques are to be made payable to New Zealand Customs Service and sent to:
    New Zealand Customs Service
    PO Box 73003
    Auckland Airport
    Manukau 2150.
  • Credit card – payment can be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard only) by phoning 0800 388 437 between the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
  • Payment can also be made at your nearest Customs office. Please refer to the “Contact Us” section of the website for Customs offices locations.

Once payment has been received your goods will be forwarded to you.

This detail was last updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2011

If you wish to locate a parcel sent to you through the postal system, you can go to the NZ Post website and use their Tracking facility, or you can phone NZ Post Customer Service Centre on 0800 501 501.

If the message on the Tracking facility is "Held for clearance" then you  will need to call NZ Post 0800 478 287 (select option 2) with your tracking number. The tracking number should be supplied to you by the parcel’s sender. NZ Post will confirm the location of the parcel and its current status in the postal process.

If you have further queries relating to the calculation of Custom charges (duty and GST) go to Customs charges, duties & allowances or call Customs’ National Contact Centre on 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786).​

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2012

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