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 Consolidated List of Approvals (PDF 3 MB).
Customs duties on items you’re importing will depend on where they’re coming from.
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|
|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|
|Whiskey and bourbon||750ml||23.72|
|Premium whisky (where price is NZ$75 or more)||750ml||27.79|
|Gin and geneva||750ml||22.24|
|Tobacco Products||Duty/GST amount (NZ$)|
|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|
|Motorhome/ camper van||10%|
|Motor vehicle for the transport of 10 or more people||5%|
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
- 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|
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%|
|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
(prior to 31 March 2020)
|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.