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Send and receive items

Receiving (importing) items from overseas

All goods arriving from overseas by post and courier services are liable for Customs duties and charges when they arrive.   

When buying goods online, check what type of things are prohibited - not allowed into New Zealand.

Importing prohibited goods is against the law and you may received a $400 fine.  You can also be fined if the contents of a parcel addressed to you does not match the description on the parcel declaration.

Sending items out of New Zealand

If you’re sending items out of New Zealand – ie not going with them – you must have a Customs export clearance for anything you’re exporting by:

  • fast freight (ie courier)
  • air
  • sea.

If you’re sending something by post, you only need a Customs export clearance if the package is:

  • worth NZ$1000 or more, or
  • for commercial purposes.

Note: there are different rules for sending commercial vs personal items out of NZ.

If you're planning on bringing items into NZ (importing) or sending items overseas (exporting) that are worth over NZ$1000, you need to apply for a Customs Number.

Goods exported for repair and return

If you're sending goods overseas for repair or refurbishment and then re-importing them, you may have to pay duty and GST charges when the goods arrive back in New Zealand. Duty (if applicable) and GST charges are payable on the price paid for the service of repair or refurbishment, which includes all charges billed to you by the supplier, including return freight and insurance charges.

If you have had GST collected on your goods at the time you purchased them as part of the Inland Revenue – Overseas Supplier Registration model then that supplier is responsible for the refund of any GST collected.  Only if the goods are over $1000 and Customs has collected GST would a refund be possible, and then only the amount that was collected by Customs. 

If your goods have been repaired free of charge under warranty, the value of the repair for Customs purposes will be nil so no duty will be payable. Customs may however, ask you for proof that the repair of refurbishment was made free of charge.

The law, as it applies to goods exported for repair or refurbishment and their subsequent importation, is set out in section 152 of the Customs and Excise Act 2018.