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Allowances and charges

You may have to pay Customs duties and other charges on items you import privately or commercially.


You can find some of the more common duties and charges below.

For full details, see:

The Working Tariff Document of New Zealand

The Consolidated List of Approvals (PDF 3 MB).

Customs duty

Customs duties on items you’re importing will depend on where they’re coming from. 

If you’re a private importer, our “What’s My Duty” estimator will tell you the most common charges you may have to pay. Different rules apply if you’re importing commercially.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ FTA Finder tool will tell you which items are exempt from Customs duty.

Customs duty on alcohol and tobacco – accompanied items 

Alcohol beverages   Duty/GST amount (NZ$)
Beer (1.98 litre pack/6 cans/bottles)     Alcohol strength 0 – 1.15% 1.50
 Alcohol strength 1.16 – 2.5% 2.55
 Alcohol strength 2.51 – 4.35% 4.28
 Alcohol strength 4.36 – 5% 4.98
 Alcohol strength 5.01% or greater 5.34
French champagne 750ml 8.65
Table wine 750ml – NZ/Australian origin 4.90
  750ml – Other 5.76

Sherry and port

750ml – NZ/Australian origin 10.43
750ml – Other 11.29
Vermouth 750ml 10.43
Whiskey and bourbon 750ml 23.72
1000ml 31.21
1125ml 34.87
1750ml 53.15
Premium whisky (where price is NZ$75 or more) 750ml 27.79
1000ml 36.91
Brandy 750ml 21.49
1000ml 28.66
1125ml 32.17
Cognac 750ml 32.96
1000ml 40.66
Rum 750ml 22.54
1000ml 29.71
1125ml 34.12
Vodka 750ml 23.29
1000ml 30.91
1125ml 34.87
Gin and geneva 750ml 22.24
1000ml 29.11
1125ml 32.62
Liqueurs 750ml 21.18
1000ml 27.85
Cream Liqueurs 750ml 15.02
1000ml 20.10
1750ml 35.94

 

Tobacco Products   Duty/GST amount (NZ$)
Tobacco per 50 grams – Australian Origin 85.36
per 50 grams – Other 85.71
Cigarettes per 200 – NZ/Australian Origin 244.04
per 150 – NZ/Australian Origin 183.03
per 50 – NZ/Australian Origin 61.02
per 200 – Other 246.70
per 150 – Other 185.02
per 50 – Other 61.67
Cigars and cigarillos per 50 grams 78.16

Customs duty on motor vehicles

The following rates apply if you don’t qualify for a concession on your motor vehicle.

Type of Vehicle Duty Rate
Motorcycle
0%
Car 0%
Motorhome/ camper van 10%
Motor vehicle for the transport of 10 or more people 5%

Rulings available

If you’re an importer or you make items, you can apply to us for a ruling in relation to particular goods on any of the following:

  • tariff classification
  • excise classification
  • country of origin
  • any concessions items qualify for
  • interpretation of the rules of origin for an item
  • valuation of goods.

See more information about Customs rulings.

Depreciation rates for household effects

You must have owned and used the household effects you’re importing:

  • for 90 days or more
  • overseas
  • for personal uses (ie not commercially).

We calculate depreciation on the time from when you took possession of your household effects (after buying them) until they arrived in NZ waters.

Period of ownership and use overseas Depreciation deduction
3-6 months 20%
6-12 months 33%
12-21 months 50%

Depreciation rates for sailing vessels

The rates of depreciation follow the IRD straight-line depreciation formula for each year the importer has owned the boat. The rates are:

Yachts (international ocean going) 10.0%
Yachts (other than international ocean going) 8.0%
Jet boats 13.5%
Launches, dinghy's and other pleasure craft 8.5%

Should the importer have owned the boat overseas for a period less than one year then the depreciation should be apportioned. Should the importer have owned an international ocean going yacht for three months the depreciation would be 3/12 of 10% or 0.83% for one month which equals 2.5% depreciation for three months. The depreciation period is calculated from the date the vessel arrived in NZ.

No depreciation is available for boats owned overseas by the importer for three months or less. The maximum depreciation allowable for any of the above craft is 80% as all vessels have a residual value.

Depreciation rates for motor vehicles

You must have owned and used the vehicle(s) you’re importing:

  • for 90 days or more overseas:
    • before handing them over for shipping to NZ or,
    • before you left for NZ (whichever is earlier)
    • for personal uses (ie not commercially).

We calculate depreciation on the time from when you took delivery of your vehicle (after buying it), until:

  • you departed for NZ, or
  • you gave it to the company shipping it to NZ – whichever happens first.
Period of Ownership and use overseas Depreciation reduction
Less than 90 days 0%
3 months or more, but less than 4 months 13%
4 months or more, but less than 6 months 20%
6 months or more, but less than 9 months 27.5%
9 months or more, but less than 1 year 35%
1 year or more, but less than 2 years 50%
2 years or more, but less than 3 years 60%
3 years or more, but less than 4 years 70%
4 years or more 75%

The maximum depreciation you can claim is normally 75%. If you can prove your vehicle was exposed to high heat and humidity which damaged it more quickly, we may let you have up to an additional 20% “tropical” depreciation. You can only claim tropical depreciation if you kept your vehicles between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Any decision to allow tropical depreciation is at our discretion.