New Zealand country guide
Learn about cross-border ecommerce, shipping, and importing.
If you are looking to grow your ecommerce business into New Zealand , you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about selling goods into New Zealand.
Ease of doing business 5/5
- There are not any significant trade barriers for importing into New Zealand, making it an ideal place to do business.
Landed cost fairness 4/5
- The import GST rate is fairly high, which can increase landed cost.
- The average duty rate for New Zealand is very low, which can help to balance out the high GST rate, making for a reasonable landed cost.
- The de minimis value is fairly high, which can lower the landed cost or free qualifying shipments of all clearance costs.
- The de minimis does not apply to imports where the seller has exceeded the selling threshold and is required to register for New Zealand GST, which is unfavorable for landed cost.
Flexibility of legal regulations 4/5
- There are few legal regulations for importing into New Zealand, and they do not act as a major hindrance for businesses.
Availability and accessibility of shipping 5/5
- All major shipping carriers offer services to New Zealand.
Accessibility and variety of payment methods 5/5
- New Zealand uses internationally-accepted payment methods, which is convenient for cross-border commerce.
Market opportunity 5/5
- Over half of the population shop online, and nearly the entire population uses the internet, making New Zealand’s market opportunity favorable.
|Population||5.1 million (2022)|
|GDP||235 billion USD (2022)|
|GDP per capita||48,669 USD (2022)|
|Internet penetration||95% of the population use the internet (2022)|
|Ecommerce users||70% of the population shop online (2022)|
|Leading product categories||Electronics, baby and children's supplies, entertainment, education, clothing, and appliances and furniture|
|Preferred online payment method(s)||Credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal|
|Languages||English and Te Reo Māori|
|Currency||New Zealand Dollar/NZD/$|
The landed cost for a cross-border transaction includes all duties, taxes, and fees associated with the purchase. This includes:
- Product price
- Fees (currency conversion, carrier, broker, customs, or government fees)
New Zealand de minimis, tax, and duty
- FOB: FOB (freight on board or free on board) is a valuation method for calculating import taxes or duties where the fees are calculated only on the cost of the goods sold. FOB is not calculated on the shipping, duty, insurance, etc.
- CIF: CIF (cost, insurance, freight) is a method for calculating import taxes or duties where the tax is calculated on the cost of the order plus the cost of freight, insurance, and seller's commission.
- GST: GST (goods and services tax) is a tax levied on goods and services at the time of sale or import.
Duty and tax de minimis
- Duty and tax de minimis: 1,000 NZD
Applied to the FOB value of the goods
De minimis value
Duty and tax will only be charged on imports into New Zealand where the total FOB value of the import exceeds New Zealand’s minimum value threshold (de minimis), which is 1,000 NZD. Anything under the tax de minimis value is considered a tax-free import, and anything under the duty de minimis value is considered a duty-free import.
- Standard rate: 15%
Applied to the CIF value of the order
Goods and services tax (GST)
The standard import GST rate for New Zealand is 15%, which is applied to orders when the CIF value exceeds the 1,000 NZD de minimis threshold. Retailers may be required to register for, collect, and remit GST directly to New Zealand if they exceed the annual threshold of 60,000 NZD in low-value goods.
New Zealand low-value GST law
New Zealand’s low-value GST law regulations impact your business if you import more than 60,000 NZD of low-value goods into New Zealand in a 12-month period. A low-value import is anything sold cross-border with a value less than 1,000 NZD in New Zealand. Once you’ve crossed that threshold, you must register with New Zealand Inland Revenue and begin charging GST on low-value sales into New Zealand and remitting quarterly to the tax authority. If you meet certain requirements, you may elect to collect and remit GST on all goods (low and high value).
Once you surpass the 1,000 NZD threshold within a 12-month period on low-value imports into New Zealand, you will need to collect GST at the time of each sale. Imports to New Zealand from registered retailers are GST-exempt at the border since GST is collected at the time of sale.
- For example, if your business has New Zealand sales, your imports would be broken into two tax categories: those more than 1,000 NZD, and those less than 1,000 NZD. If you sold 100,000 NZD in sales a year, but only 40,000 NZD came from low-value goods (goods valued under 1,000 NZD), that portion of your business would still be tax-free. However, if 60,000 NZD or more came from low-value goods, you would need to register for New Zealand GST, begin charging GST on low-value sales into New Zealand, and remit to New Zealand Inland Revenue quarterly.
An excise tax applies to certain goods imported into New Zealand, such as alcoholic beverages, petroleum products, and tobacco products.
- Average duty rate: 2.1%
Applied to the FOB value of the goods
Average duty rate
The average duty rate for New Zealand imports is 2%. The duty range for most imports is 0-10%. Duty is only charged on orders into NZ where the total of the goods in the order (the FOB value) exceeds the de minimis threshold of 1,000 NZD.
Landed cost examples
Below are sample landed cost breakdowns for New Zealand (one below the de minimis threshold and one above), which were calculated using Zonos Quoter:
Landed cost for a shipment to New Zealand below the de minimis value:
Landed cost for a shipment to New Zealand above the de minimis value:
New Zealand has at least 13 trade agreements that offer a zero or highly discounted duty rate for goods made in participating countries.
- There are trade agreements that have completed negotiation but are not yet in force, or are currently undergoing the negotation process.
New Zealand is a member of the World Trade Organization
As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), New Zealand must abide by the most-favored-nation (MFN) clause, which requires a country to provide any concessions, privileges, or immunities granted to one nation in a trade agreement to all other WTO member countries. For example, if one country reduces duties by 10% for a particular WTO country, the MFN clause states that all WTO members will receive the same 10% reduction.
New Zealand's Customs authority
Customs refund in New Zealand
Note: Talk to your carrier about customs refunds.
Top courier services:
- DHL Express
- Post Haste
- NZ Post
Depending on the courier, additional shipping fees may include:
- Fuel surcharge
- Remote delivery charge
- Signature fee
- Overweight or oversized fee
- Special handling fee
- Dangerous goods fee
Documentation and paperwork
- Needed for certain tobacco products
- Required for certain goods controlled by certain government agencies
Certificate of origin
- May be required for imports that qualify for preferential tariff treatment
Prohibited, restricted, and controlled imports into New Zealand
Government agencies regulate imports.
Restricted items are different from prohibited items. Prohibited items are not allowed to be imported into a country at all. Restricted items are not allowed to be imported into a country unless the importer has approval or a special license. Controlled goods have military or national security significance.
- Objectionable media
- Certain weapons (e.g. flick knives, butterfly knives, swordsticks)
- Weapons disguised as non-weapons
- Equipment for cannabis or methamphetamine use
- Any item intended to be used for a crime
- Ivory in any form
- Tortoise or sea turtle shell jewelry or decorations
- Meat derived from whales, dolphins, rare cranes and pheasants, or sea turtles
- Medicines containing musk or derivatives of tiger or rhinoceros
- Carvings or other things made from the bone of marine mammals
- Cat skins
- Taxidermies of sea turtles, all big cats, rare reptiles, cranes, pheasants, bears, antelope, and deer
- Live species
- Carnivorous plants
- Plant and animal items in general
- Crayons and craft paints
- Human ashes
Legal regulations for businesses
Registering as a commercial importer
Retailers importing goods intended for resale or with a value greater than 1,000 NZD must register for client and supplier codes and for the Trade Single Window (TSW) to submit import declarations electronically. Fulfilling these registration requirements will allow importers to import commercial goods.