Vehicles, boats and planes

If you're an immigrant, or are returning to New Zealand after 21 months or more overseas, you're entitled to concessions on vehicles, boats and planes that either accompany you or are sent separately.


Bringing in vehicles, boats and planes

You can get a “household items” concession if:

  • you’re moving to NZ, or moving back after 21 months or more away, and
  • you’ve used the items for their intended purpose.

This means you won’t have to pay GST and duties on some items.

You can also get concessions on:

  • private vehicles, including:
    • motorcycles
    • cars
    • scooters
    • motorhomes
    • camper vans
    • ambulances
    • boats
    • aircraft.

They can come with you, or you can send them separately. You can import more than one vehicle, boat or plane duty-free, as long as you meet the Concessionary Requirements (PDF 102 KB) for each of them.

Learn more in Fact Sheet 29: Advice on private motor vehicle imports (PDF 267 KB).

If you sell your vehicle, boat or plane within 2 years of bringing it into NZ duty-free, you must pay Customs duty and GST on a pro rata basis.

If you don’t qualify for concessions

If you don’t qualify for concessions, you will have to pay:

  • GST on motorcycles, cars and planes
  • GST and Customs duty of 5% on private boats (yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sport)
  • GST and Customs duty of 5% on motor vehicles for transporting more than 10 people
  • GST and Customs duty of 10% on private boats, camper vans, ambulances and motor homes.

Clearing your vehicle, boat or plane

Shipping companies will usually give you arrival papers when you import your vehicle, boat or plane.

Some freight forwarders will also help you with Customs processes.

To get a delivery order, which allows you to take possession of your vehicle, boat or plane, you must arrange:

Ministry of Primary Industries will also check your vehicle, boat or plane when it arrives to look for contamination.

Customs clearance

To get a Customs clearance for your vehicle, boat or plane, you must give us:

  • the BACC
  • your passport (or a high-quality copy of it, if you’re emailing us)
  • an invoice or receipt showing what you paid, and when you bought it
  • registration/ownership details
  • an invoice showing freight and insurance costs for shipping to NZ
  • the bill of lading or arrival notice.

Vehicles

If you’re bringing in a vehicle, you must also give us:

  • registration papers or,
  • certificate of permanent export (UK)
  • certificate of title (USA)
  • de-registration certificate (Japan)
  • an invoice showing your export costs (Japan)
  • the odometer reading when the vehicle was sold for export to NZ
  • the odometer reading when the vehicle arrived in NZ
  • a "carnet de passage en douane" (CPD), also called a "carnet" (tourist vehicles only).

If you’ve leased your vehicle or bought it through a hire-purchase agreement, you can still get a concession if:

  • you’ve had the vehicle for at least a year before leaving for NZ, or
  • you’ve had the vehicle for at least a year before you shipped it, and
  • you’ve complied fully with the terms of your lease or hire-purchase agreement.

Valuing your vehicle

If you need to pay GST on your vehicle, we will calculate the amount based on the sum of:

If you need to pay duty on your vehicle, we will base the duty on the vehicle’s Customs valuation only. This is decided according to the provisions of the Second Schedule of the Customs and Excise Act 1996 (NZ Legislation).

Normal valuation

In normal cases, we’ll base the Customs value of your vehicle on what you paid/will pay for the vehicle overseas, minus:

  • any overseas duties or taxes you paid, for which you got a rebate or a refund when the vehicle landed in NZ (you’ll need to provide evidence for this)
  • depreciation. 

Alternative valuation

If you don’t give us the correct information, we may use a different method. This includes cases where you:

  • bought the vehicle overseas for an unrealistically low price
  • were given the vehicle as a gift or prize
  • built the vehicle overseas
  • you restored, modified or improved the vehicle so that its value is significantly different than when you bought it
  • used depreciation rates on an unrealistically high Customs value.

In cases like this, we’ll base our valuation on:

  • the market value of the vehicle in NZ, minus deductions for things like:
  • overseas freight and insurance
  • duty (where applicable) calculated on the vehicle’s market value in NZ
  • GST calculated on the vehicle’s market value in NZ
  • normal mark-ups.

Example calculation for importing a vehicle

For a vehicle owned and used overseas, by the importer, for more than six months but less than nine months.

Description Amount
(a) Value for duty of vehicle (pounds sterling) £8,500.00
(b) Value for duty of vehicle (NZ$) converted using Customs exchange rate eg, at 0.31 NZ$27,419.00
(c) Value for duty after 27.5% depreciation allowed NZ$19,879.00
(d) Duty - (c) at a rate of duty of 0% NZ$0.00 
(e) Freight, insurance and shipping costs NZ$4,500.00 
(f) GST value = (c) + (d) + (e) NZ$24,379.00
(g) Goods and Services Tax (GST) = 15% of the total of (c) + (d) + (e)  NZ$3,656.85 
Payable 

Customs charges payable (d) + (g) 

NZ$3,656.85
(exceeds de minimus) 
Import entry transaction fee (IETF)  NZ$49.24 
Total payable  NZ$3,706.09 

Certifying your vehicle for use on NZ roads

One we’ve cleared your motor vehicle, an NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) approved agent must certify it for use on NZ roads.

What you need to do, and the documents you must supply, differs depending on where the motor vehicle is coming from. The NZTA website has full details.

Learn more in Fact Sheet 29: Advice on private motor vehicle imports (PDF 266 KB).