Start exporting

You must get clearance for anything you’re exporting from New Zealand for commercial reasons unless it’s exempt.

Exporting commercial items

To get clearance for this, you can:

  • ask a Customs agent, broker or freight forwarder to do it on your behalf
  • submit the clearance yourself through the Trade Single Window (TSW) service (authorised users only)
  • use the Online Declarations website (authorised users only)
  • use Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) software (authorised users only).

You must:

  • keep all your documentation for at least 7 years, and be able to produce it
  • keep the documents in New Zealand, not in the cloud or offshore.

Types of export clearances

There are two types of clearances:

  • Export entry - full description of everything you’re exporting, including their classification under the Working Tariff Document of New Zealand (if you’re not used to working with the Tariff, we suggest you ask a Customs broker, agent or freight forwarder to act on your behalf)
  • Electronic cargo information (ECI) – summary details for items or consignments whose total value is less than NZ$1,000.

For export entries and ECIs, you will need:

  • your client code (if you’re using a broker and your consignment is worth less than NZ$1,000, you don’t need a client code)
  • the name of the craft or vessel on which your items are leaving NZ
  • the free on board value of the goods – this value is made up of:
    • the value of your items
    • costs for packaging and transport in New Zealand
    • any other costs up until they’re loaded for export.

If you’re using an export entry, you’ll also need the Tariff codes of the item/items you’re exporting.

You may need other permits or approvals, depending on what you’re exporting, and to where. You must get an export entry for anything which needs a permit or approval, regardless of value.

You won’t be able to export some items at all.

You may also be able to get a drawback – a type of refund – on any duty you paid.

If you are claiming a drawback, you must lodge a drawback entry.