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Update on change in depreciation rates for used motor vehicles

The depreciation rates applied by Customs for the valuation of used vehicles which have been owned and used overseas by importers is going to change.

This change is that from 1 March 2020, Customs will follow the straight line rate used by Inland Revenue where depreciation is applicable when valuing imported used vehicles.

As a result of advertising this change a submission was received advising that a number of importers would be adversely affected by the change. These importers include those that have pre-purchased vehicles overseas under a “Tourist Delivery” scheme, whereby they can buy vehicles on a VAT free basis subject to the vehicles being owned and used overseas prior to export within a given period (normally a year).

To assist such importers it has been decided that importers who can supply proof that the vehicles were purchased prior to 1 March 2020, and that the vehicles are imported into New Zealand prior to 1 March 2021, will be allowed to use the old depreciation rates for Customs purposes.

This includes importers who have made a deposit on a vehicle.

To use the old rate, importers must:

  • provide proof that they have a signed “contract of sale” to purchase before 1 March 2020; and
  • the vehicle must be imported into New Zealand prior to 1 March 2021.

Further information about the change can be obtained from