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. 

Please be aware that if two or more packages arrive for you at the same time, Customs may combine them as one import for the calculation of duty.

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 NZ$1,000 or more, you will need a client code.​

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 06 October 2016

A client code is a unique number that identifies individual importers and exporters. Client codes are only issued to New Zealand entities (such as registered New Zealand companies).

A client code is required as part of the import and export entry preparation for shipments valued at NZ$1,000 or more.

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

If you don't have a client code your broker can apply for this on your behalf, discuss this with your broker, or you can apply for a client code yourself. To do this:

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2016

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: 

Online credit card payment
Pay on our secure online payment site using a Visa or MasterCard. You will need your Customs entry or invoice number (top right hand corner of invoice eg, 4652498). Online payments attract a fee of 2.5%, charged and collected by Westpac.

Internet banking
In the bill payments section, search for and select New Zealand Customs Service as the payee. Enter Customs entry or invoice number (top right hand corner of invoice eg, 4652498) in the ‘Particulars’ field.

Alternatively, payments will only be accepted in New Zealand currency, and should be paid into the following account:

Account name: New Zealand Customs Service​
Account number: 03-0049-0000706-20​
Bank name: Westpac Banking Corporation
New Zealand Government Branch
318 Lambton Quay
New Zealand​
Swift Code: WPACNZ2W​

DISCLAIMER: Customs is not responsible for clients data input errors (eg, inputting the incorrect bank account number or not entering the correct reference numbers).

Send a cheque payable to New Zealand Customs Service, and a copy of the invoice to: New Zealand Customs Service, PO Box 73003, Auckland Airport, Manukau 2150. We accept personal cheques for up to $1,000 but bank cheques are needed for greater amounts.

Customs office
Pay at your nearest Customs office. We accept cash, eftpos, cheques, or credit card.

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

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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 Customs 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 Monday, 26 May 2014

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