Moving to New Zealand

Country Guide: New Zealand

New Zealand flag

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Treatment / cleaning certificates for the shipment goods
  • CITES Permit, if applicable
  • Detailed inventory
  • Copy of prescriptions for prescribed drugs
  • Personal Effects – Supplementary Declaration form
  • Unaccompanied Personal Baggage Declaration, if applicable
  • List of wine collections with evidence showing the wine has been collected over a period of time and is of various types
  • Residence Visa / Residence Permit, if applicable
  • Work Visa / Work Permit (minimum of 12 months / Skilled Migrant / Long-term Business Visa or Permit)
  • Visitor’s Visa / Permit issued for a minimum of 3 years
  • Trade Single Window – Client Registration Application, if applicable

Specific Information

  • Household goods can be imported free of duty and tax (GST) if imported by a person who has arrived in New Zealand, and:
    • Holds a New Zealand / Australian Passport of one of the following relevant Visas / Permits in New Zealand at the time of the importation of the goods
    • Has lived abroad for more than 21 months
    • Has owned and personally used the goods prior to import
    • The goods must be for the sole use of the shipper and cannot be a gift, for sale, exchange or used for commercial purposes
    • Meet all requirements; otherwise Customs duty and tax will be payable
  • Any wood packaging used in shipments (crates, pallets etc.) must be constructed of approved treated timber and meet and display the internationally recognized ISPM 15 standard.
  • Any non-compliant timber may be destroyed, treated or re-exported to the Country of origin at the owner’s expense.
  • The shipper must be in present at the time of shipment arrival or duty and/or tax will be charged on the shipment, even if other criteria for duty and tax free entry of your goods is met. Duty or tax paid at the time of entry of your goods cannot be reclaimed.
  • If the importer of the goods does not hold a document of permanent residence at the time of shipment arrival or has not yet arrived in New Zealand, the goods do not qualify for concessionary entry.
  • If the concession conditions cannot be met then the goods must be entered on an import entry and duty and/or GST is required to be paid. This revenue is not refundable even if at a later stage the importer obtains a qualifying Visa, as at the time of importation they did not qualify for the concession and therefore the revenue was not paid in error.
  • All packing / inventory lists are screened by the MAF Quarantine service to determine whether a consignment requires an examination or can be released immediately, but most consignments of personal effects and household goods require some kind of an inspection.
    • Common items that are inspected and of Biosecurity interest include but are not limited to:
    • Food of any kind
    • Animal products such as meat (fresh or dried), eggs, dairy products, honey, skins, fur, feathers, bone, wool, hair, hunting trophies, fish/shell fish (fresh, dried, or frozen), Chinese traditional medicines, shells and coral, ivory
    • Plants or plant products such as fresh or dried fruit and cones, vegetables, plants/flowers live and dried, plant cuttings and bud wood, bulbs or roots, seeds, pine antique and/or handcrafted wooden ornaments/carvings, cane, bamboo, basket ware, straw, Chinese traditional medicines
    • Equipment used with animals and/or plants such as veterinary equipment/products, fishing gear, fish farming equipment, saddlery, work boots/clothing, pet bedding, gardening equipment/products and forestry equipment
    • Miscellaneous items such as vacuum cleaners, spiked, studded or sprigged footwear (e.g., golf shoes, soccer boots), hiking boots, soiled footwear, water sports equipment, bicycles, boats, vehicle parts, camping equipment/tents, barbeques, Christmas and/or Easter decorations, Pooja items
  • Some items may be required to be cleaned or treated for fumigation.
  • Items are subject to Customs discretion for seizure, destruction, or shipped back to the origin country at the owner’s expense.
  • It is recommended that all items that have come into contact with soil, grass, leaves, vegetation, water, seeds, animals, and insects should be thoroughly cleaned and free from any contamination.

Note: New Zealand Quarantine (MPI) changed the law so that no containers can go directly from port to residence any longer. From now on, every container entering New Zealand must be unloaded and inspected at a transitional facility before being reloaded and delivered to residence.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • New Zealand / Australian Passport
  • New Zealand Residence Visa / Permit / Returning Resident’s Visa or Permit
  • New Zealand Work Visa / Work Permit issued for a minimum of 12 months
  • Permanent Residence Visa / Returning Resident Visa issued by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia
  • Work Visa / Work Permit (minimum of 12 months / Skilled Migrant / Long-term Business Visa or Permit)
  • Visitor’s Visa / Permit issued for a minimum of 3 years

Specific Information

  • Motor vehicles can be imported free of tariff duty and taxes if imported by a person who:
    • Has arrived in New Zealand
    • Holds a document authorizing residency at the time of import
    • Has lived abroad for more than 21 months
    • Has owned and personally used the goods prior to import
  • The vehicle must have been owned and used for at least 12 months prior to shipping or the owner’s departure for New Zealand, whichever is earlier.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

Specific Information

  • Check with agent regarding restrictions / prohibitions on the import of certain breeds of dogs. Some of the prohibited breeds include: American Pit Bull Terrier, Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino and Japanese Tosa.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Firearms or parts (a permit issued by the New Zealand Police is required prior to import)
  • Ivory in any form, tortoise or sea turtle jewellery or ornaments, animal bone carvings, cat skins or coats, trophies of sea turtles, all big cats, rare reptiles, cranes, pheasants, bears, antelope and deer.
  • Live species of eagles, hawks, owls and parrots, many cacti, orchids, cycads, cyclamens and carnivorous plants.
  • The following items are subject to tariff duties as indicated:
    • Baby strollers 5%
    • Bags (handbags, briefcases) 5%
    • Bed linens and blankets 5%
    • Chinaware and cookware 5%
    • Cosmetics 5%
    • Curtains 5%
    • Cutlery 5%
    • Footwear 10%
    • Jewelry 5%
    • Lamps 5%
    • Perfume 5%
    • Pots and pans 5%
    • Saddles 5%
    • Sleeping bags 5%
    • Toys 5%
    • Wet suits 5%

Prohibited Items

  • Controlled drugs other than prescribed medicines including but not limited to LSD, heroin, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy, steroids, human growth hormone, performance enhancing drugs, precursor substances
  • Pornographic materials or those that promote, incite, or instruct in matters of crime or violence, or misuse of drugs
  • Weapons including flick knives, butterfly knives, swordsticks, knuckle-dusters, disguised weapons, etc.
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Goods designed with the intent to facilitate crime

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

Helpful Website(s):

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_984.html

http://www.nzembassy.com/usa

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.