Household, personal effects, vehicles

If you are a resident you may not have to pay duty and GST on household, personal effects and vehicles you bring with you when you move to New Zealand.


Household effects

You may not have to pay duties and GST on household, personal effects and vehicles/craft if you have documents to prove you’re allowed to live in NZ - these are:

  • a New Zealand or Australian passport
  • a current NZ residence visa or permit
  • a current permanent residence visa (including resident return visa) issued by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • a current work visa valid for a year or more
  • a current work visa or permit, issued under the Work to Residence (Skilled Migrant Category) policy or the Long Term Business Visa/Permit category
  • a current visitors’ visa or permit valid for three years or more
  • have been living outside for NZ for more than 21 months
  • owned and used all the goods before importing them here with you.

This concession doesn’t apply if you’re bringing in the items:

  • as a gift
  • to exchange or sell
  • for commercial use.

You must have personally owned and used any vehicles or craft for more than 12 months before shipping them – or leaving for NZ – to qualify for this concession. If you’re a returning NZ resident, there are also size restrictions for boats. See Part II of the Working Tariff Document of New Zealand: concessions (PDF 102 KB) for more details.

You can authorise someone to clear your items for you before you arrive. This can be a Customs broker, moving company or private individual. They must give us:

  • NZCS 218: Unaccompanied personal baggage declaration (DOC 543 KB)
  • a letter of from you, giving them permission to clear your items for you
  • a copy of your passport
  • a list of the items, and how much they were worth when you got them
  • your items’ freight documents.

Personal effects

If you live in NZ and bought items when you were visiting another country you wont have to pay duties if:

  • they're personal clothing, jewellery or cosmetics
  • they're for your personal use
  • they're not a gift
  • you're not going to sell or exchange them.

All other items, including animals, might attract GST and duty.

Purchases over NZ$1,000

If you’re importing or exporting goods worth more than NZ$1,000, you need a client code. You also need a supplier code if you’re importing.

You don’t need to register for TSW Online if you have a broker – they can apply for codes for you.

You can find more information at Trade Single Window.