Receive items from overseas

With the rise of internet shopping, New Zealanders are importing goods from overseas using postal and international courier services.

Whether the goods are a pair of sunglasses from America or a carton of cigarettes from France; a cellphone from Hong Kong or a bolt of cloth from Scotland – all will be liable for Customs duties and charges when they arrive.

Goods subject to import duty and GST

Goods mailed into NZ may be subject to import duty. Import duties are calculated on the Customs value of the goods in New Zealand dollars.

The goods may also be subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15%, based on the Customs value of the goods, and including the duty (if any) and postal/courier charges.

Please be aware that if two or more packages arrive for you at the same time, Customs may combine them as one import for the calculation of duty.

Customs does not collect duty and GST where the total revenue payable on any one importation is less than $60.

There will also be an import entry transaction fee (IETF) and MPI biosecurity system entry levy.

If your goods are valued at NZ$1000 or more, you will need a client code.

Client code

A client code is a unique number that identifies individual importers and exporters. Client codes are only issued to NZ entities (such as registered New Zealand companies).

A client code is required as part of the import and export entry preparation for shipments valued at NZ$1000 or more.

If you think you may already have a client code, please get in touch with our National Contact Centre to confirm.

If you don't have a client code your broker can apply for this on your behalf, discuss this with your broker, or you can apply for a client code yourself. To do this:

When duty and GST are not payable

Customs does not collect duty and GST where the total revenue payable on any one importation is less than $60.

Tobacco and alcohol are liable

However, the $60 exemption provision does not apply to alcohol or tobacco products. These will attract duty and GST in whatever quantity they are imported.

Release of goods

When your goods arrive in NZ you will be contacted by the freighting company to arrange clearance. For postal items, you will receive either an assessment notice advising the amount payable, or a letter requesting that you arrange clearance or produce further information.

Where an assessment notice has been issued, your goods will be released as soon as you pay the charges. Payment can be made in any of the following ways:

Online credit card payment

Pay on our secure online payment site using a Visa or MasterCard. You will need your Customs entry or invoice number (top right-hand corner of invoice eg, 4652498). Online payments attract a fee of 2.5%, charged and collected by Westpac.

Internet banking

In the bill payments section, search for and select New Zealand Customs Service as the payee. Enter Customs entry or invoice number (top right-hand corner of invoice eg, 4652498) in the ‘Particulars’ field.

Alternatively, payments will only be accepted in NZ currency, and should be paid into the following account:

Account name: New Zealand Customs Service
Account number: 03-0049-0000706-20
Bank name:

Westpac Banking Corporation
New Zealand Government Branch
318 Lambton Quay
New Zealand

Swift Code: WPACNZ2W

Disclaimer: Customs is not responsible for clients data input errors (eg, inputting the incorrect bank account number or not entering the correct reference numbers).


Send a cheque payable to New Zealand Customs Service, and a copy of the invoice to: New Zealand Customs Service, PO Box 73003, Auckland Airport, Manukau 2150. We accept personal cheques for up to $1000 but bank cheques are needed for greater amounts.

Customs office

Pay at your nearest Customs office. We accept cash, EFTPOS, cheques, or credit card.

Once payment has been received your goods will be forwarded to you.

More information

If you wish to locate a parcel sent to you through the postal system, you can go to the NZ Post website and use their Tracking facility, or you can phone NZ Post Customer Service Centre.

If the message on the Tracking facility is "Held for clearance" then you will need to call NZ Post with your tracking number. The tracking number should be supplied to you by the parcel’s sender. NZ Post will confirm the location of the parcel and its current status in the postal process.

If you have further queries relating to the calculation of Customs charges (duty and GST) call the Customs National Contact Centre.