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Vehicles, boats and planes

All you need to know about importing vehicles, boats and planes.

Importing a vehicle if you’re a tourist

If you’re visiting NZ, you can import a car duty-free as long as you’re going to take the car out of NZ when you leave.

A Carnet de Passages en Douane (Carnet or CPD) will help you get your vehicle in duty-free, and without having to give us security.  This is a document much like a passport for your car. You can get a CPD from AIT/FIA-affiliated member clubs, eg. the Automobile Association.

If you don’t have a CPD, you will have to give us a cash deposit to cover the full Customs duty and other charges. We will refund the deposit if you take the car out in the required time.

We normally grant “temporary entry” for one year.

In some cases, we may sometimes grant a once-off extension. At least one month in advance, you must:

  • ask us for the extension in at least a month in advance
  • get extension approval from the issuing CPD office in the country the car came from (only if you have a CPD).

Buying a vehicle overseas

In some cases, a New Zealander travelling overseas may want to buy a vehicle there and bring it back.

We suggest you contact the vehicle’s NZ distributor first. The distributor can make sure your vehicle is ready for you when you arrive overseas.

You may qualify for depreciation on the vehicle when you bring it into NZ, which will also reduce the Customs duty you must pay.


If you’re moving to NZ, you must have owned your boat for at least a year to qualify for a concession.

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

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

If you’re returning to NZ, there are also size restrictions. These restrictions don’t apply to people moving to NZ for the first time.

If your boat is powered, it mustn’t:

  • be longer than 7 metres
  • be wider than 2.5 metres
  • be heavier than:
    • 1250 kgs (unladen, including driving units and transmissions), or 
    • 800 kgs (unladen, not including driving units and transmissions).

If your boat is a sailing vessel, it mustn’t:

  • be wider than 2.5 metres
  • be heavier than 1000 kg (unladen)
  • have an engine or motor for moving the boat
  • have a deep keel.