The Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping to New Zealand from Australia
Unlike shipping to other countries such as the United States or China, sending parcels across the Tasman to New Zealand is relatively stress-free. A number of trade agreements paired with a common language and culture have helped the Kiwis and Wallabies become trusted trade partners.
In fact, the mercantile reciprocity is even between New Zealand and Australia, neither country experienced a trade deficit in 2013 as both imported $7.4 billion AUD worth of goods from the other.
Still, just because they’re next door neighbours doesn’t mean shipping to NZ is always a snap.
If planning to ship items big or small to New Zealand from Australia, here are a few friendly do’s and don’ts about sending parcels to the land of the Kiwis…
Don’t — Overpay
As one of Australia’s largest and nearest trading partners, rates are comparatively good when it comes to shipping to New Zealand, be it for personal or commercial purposes. Still, it’s important to get the best rates available. Check with Australia Post as well as low-cost couriers to find rates that will affordably accommodate your needs.
Do — Prepare for taxes and duties
Like most countries, New Zealand has a host of fees, taxes and duties for imports. Rates depend upon the size of the shipment and the nature of the goods arriving on Kiwi shores. For a full breakdown of the tax and duty rates, check out the New Zealand Custom Service website
Don’t — Overlook NZ’s Ministry for Primary Industries
As an agriculturally-centred economy, New Zealand has some of the most strictly enforced rules regarding importation as it pertains to biological matter. Any goods containing or exposed to biological contaminants will be seized for quarantine or outright destroyed by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Make sure your parcel, whether commercial or personal, won’t capture the unwanted attention of the MPI.
Do – Consider unorthodox methods
If planning for a large shipment – whether in volume or in weight – it may be worth considering an unorthodox solution (like hiring a shipping container) rather than the more traditional AusPost or FedEx – type methods.
Don’t – Import prohibited products
Whether personal or commercial, New Zealand has an array restrictions and prohibitions on non-organic imports. Check out the Custom Service’s list of regulated items here.
Do – Submit an import entry or Electronic Cargo Information (ECI)
If importing items to New Zealand for commercial purposes, make sure the necessary import entry or ECI forms have been submitted to Customs to expedite clearance upon arrival. Most freight and courier companies will undertake this on behalf of their clients, but it’s always good to double check.
Don’t – Forget about import duties & taxes allowances
Based on the contents and value of the shipment, the New Zealand Customs Service may assess duties & taxes or fees to be paid by the addressee before the shipment can be retrieved. Don’t forget that New Zealand has a different duty-free import threshold than Australia ($1,000 shipment value), which is calculated via a formula that considers the following:
– Shipment Value
– Freight Cost
– Duties Applicable to your goods
– GST (15%)
If the amount combined of GST and duties reaches NZ$60, you will have to pay the applicable duties and the Import Entry Transaction Fee (IETF) which is around NZ$50. In this case there is not such allowance like in Australia of a specific threshold of $1,000 of shipment value, but is a combination of the factors above.
However if you want to have a rough idea if your product will generate duties & taxes & fees, use the value of NZ$289 as threshold and you would be safe in most of the cases. Please use this duty calculator tool, to estimate fees, duties & taxes based on the products you want to import into NZ.