Before shopping online, be sure you think it through carefully and that you know all the possible pitfalls
Please be aware that we do not hold your item when it arrives in New Zealand. Unfortunately, we are unable to locate this item for you. That can be done by the company who transported the item on your behalf.
The What’s My Duty? tool can help you estimate any Customs charges and taxes.
If you are bringing items into NZ for commercial reasons, for example to sell or for a business, you need to contact a Customs broker who will liaise with Customs on your behalf.
The rules for importing tobacco have recently changed, and a permit is now required to bring or receive any tobacco into NZ, including gifts. Please visit the tobacco page for full details of the new requirements.
Items that cost NZ$1000 or less
If you're bringing items to NZ from overseas that cost NZ$1000 or less you don't have to pay anything to Customs, as GST is collected when you purchase your items. There's nothing else that you must do for your items to arrive.
However, we do charge Duty and GST for alcohol and tobacco products regardless of value.
Online items that cost more than NZ$1000
If you buy items from overseas for over NZ$1000, we collect GST and/or Duty and you must apply for a Customs Number.
Order items for over NZ$1000, arrange transport to NZ and apply for a Customs Number (Client Code).
The company that has transported your items will contact you when those items arrive in NZ.
Email email@example.com with the following:
- A completed copy of NZCS 263 Bringing General Items into NZ as a Private Individual (PDF 940 KB)
- A copy of your photo ID
- Proof of purchase
- Shipping document (Air Waybill/Bill of Lading)
- Notice or letter from your transport company (courier company, NZ Post etc.) that your parcel has arrived in NZ.
Alternatively you can contact a Customs broker to manage the process for you at your own cost.
Customs will issue you an invoice based on the Customs Value, which is the cost of the item in New Zealand Dollars (NZD), as well as the cost of shipping and any insurance. This charge will be made up of:
- 15% GST
- Duty if required, this depends on where your item is from and what it is
- An Import Entry Transaction Fee. You can find out the current fee by referring to the Schedule of Goods Clearance Fees.
Once you have paid, your transport company will receive automatic notification that your goods can be delivered to you.
False or incomplete declarations
You are responsible for the information on Customs declarations being correct.
Please be aware that some websites may offer to declare an incorrect value for your item on the Customs declaration, so you can avoid paying GST or duty.
If the sender gives incorrect information or doesn’t make a declaration, your item could be delayed and investigated. In some cases, we may seize your item, and you will have to pay extra charges.
You may also face criminal charges for knowingly making a false declaration.
Customs rates of exchange
If you buy an item in any currency that isn’t New Zealand dollars (NZD), it will be converted into NZD to get the Customs Value.
We use our own rates of exchange, which are set every two weeks and published 11 days in advance. We’ll use the rate that is current when your item arrives.
Some items aren’t allowed to be brought into NZ
Please look at the full list of prohibited and restricted imports.
Examples of prohibited items include:
- some dog breeds
- dog-tracking collars
- objectionable material
- equipment for using cannabis or methamphetamine.
Other items need permission before you can bring them in. Examples of items that require a permit to import include:
- radioactive materials
- plant and animal products, including food and accessories.
Return your item
If you return an item that cost less than NZ$1000, the company you purchased it from is responsible for issuing any refund.
If your item cost more than $1000 and you return an item to the supplier and they give you a free replacement, you don’t need to pay duty and GST on the replacement. You will need to provide proof it’s a replacement, such as emails agreeing to replacement or evidence you returned the original item (e.g. shipping documents).
You are eligible for a refund on GST or duties you paid on an item if:
- you didn’t need to pay duty
- your item is faulty
- your item was damaged, destroyed, stolen or deteriorated before it was released by Customs
- the item is not what you ordered.
You are not eligible for a refund of GST or Duties you paid on an item if you changed your mind.
To request a refund, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your refund application.