New GST rules for low-value imported goods

From 1 December 2019, overseas businesses that sell goods valued at $1000 or less to consumers (private individuals) in New Zealand may need to register for, collect and return, goods and services tax (GST).


The rules apply to overseas businesses selling low-value goods directly to New Zealand consumers, as well as online marketplaces and re-deliverers.

The NZ$1000 threshold is based on the customs value of the goods. This means transport and insurance costs are excluded when determining if GST needs to be charged.

All consignments valued NZ$1000 or less can be cleared on an Inward Cargo Report (ICR), a Simplified Import Declaration (SID) or a standard Import Declaration.

Consignments or goods valued over NZ$1000 must be cleared on a standard Import Declaration, and the Import Entry Transaction Fee (IETF) and MPI’s BSEL will be charged.

There is no change to the current processing of consignments over NZ$1000 – the standard GST and duty calculation will be applied. If GST on the value of the goods has already been collected at the point of sale by the supplier GST will still be payable on any duty at the border.

ICRs and SIDs will be written off as GST paid (collected by the supplier) or not required (supplier not registered for GST) unless the goods:

  • are alcohol or tobacco products (duty and/or GST is payable) 
  • have a customs value more than NZ$1000,
  • are consignments on the same craft/in the same mail dispatch for the same importer with a combined value exceeding NZ$1000

In these cases an Import Declaration will be required.

Note: Fine metals continue to be GST exempt under Section 14 of the GST Act 1985.

New message data required by Customs from 1 December 2019

Inward Cargo Report
(ICR) 
Inward Cargo Report
(ICR) 
Simplified Import
Declaration (SID)
Consignments over
NZ$1000

Consignment NZ$400 or less

Consignment greater than NZ$400 up to NZ$1000

Consignment NZ$1000 or less

 

Supplier GST number

Supplier GST number

Supplier GST number

Supplier GST number

yes or no in the GST paid indicator on the goods item line yes or no in the GST paid indicator on the goods item line yes or no in the GST paid indicator on the goods item line yes or no in the GST paid indicator on the goods item line
  Mandatory 11-digit tariff item for each item in the consignment    

If the supplier is not registered for GST in New Zealand, leave blank: 

  • GST number
  • GST paid indicator on the goods item line.

View the information required for orders arriving in the same and separate consignments.

Find out more information at Inland Revenue's website.