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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:

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% $2.71
 Alcohol strength 2.51 – 4.35% $4.72
 Alcohol strength 4.36 – 5% $5.54
 Alcohol strength 5.01% or greater $5.94
French champagne 750ml $8.90
Table wine 750ml – NZ/Australian origin $5.15
  750ml – Other $6.01
Sherry and port 750ml – NZ/Australian origin $11.71
750ml – Other $12.58
Vermouth 750ml  $5.15
Whiskey and bourbon 750ml  $26.78
1000ml $35.25
1125ml $39.42
1750ml $60.23
Premium whisky (where price is NZ$75 or more) 750ml $30.83
1000ml $40.95
Brandy 750ml $24.53
1000ml $32.70
1125ml $36.72
Cognac 750ml $35.79
1000ml $44.70
Rum 750ml $25.58
1000ml $33.75
1125ml $38.67
Vodka 750ml $26.33
1000ml $34.95
1125ml $39.42
Gin and geneva 750ml $25.28
1000ml $33.15
1125ml $37.17
Liqueurs 750ml $23.81
1000ml $31.39
Cream Liqueurs 750ml $16.54
1000ml $22.11
1750ml $39.48


Tobacco Products   Duty/GST amount
Tobacco per 50 grams – Australian Origin 97.39
per 50 grams – Other 97.74
Cigarettes per 200 – NZ/Australian Origin 277.81
per 150 – NZ/Australian Origin 208.36
per 50 – NZ/Australian Origin 69.46
per 200 – Other 280.47
per 150 – Other 210.36
per 50 – Other 70.12
Cigars and cigarillos per 50 grams 88.71

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
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 New Zealand waters.

Period of ownership and use overseas Depreciation deduction
0-3 months 10%
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, dinghies 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.