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Thread: HELP GST and our container

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    NZ
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    4

    Default HELP GST and our container

    Hi,

    Our 40 FT container (all used household goods and used car) arrived on Thursday from the UK, its currently being unpacked by our removal company in their store.

    I've been here since May 11 on a visitors VISA on my UK passport and landed a job recently. The work visa is currently being processed by immigration. (delayed)

    I'm told we may be liable for the customs charges and GST because the container arrived while I was still on a visitors visa.

    Anyone else experience this? What was the outcome or options?

    Thanks

    H

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    Default

    There was someone else that had a visa of less than 2 years, and yes, they did pay. The guidelines are pretty clear and so I'm not aware of any mechanism around this. I can't beleive the shippers didn't at least warn you of this / confirm that you had a +2 year work visa/residancy visa prior to shipping.

    Sorry that's not what you'll have wanted to hear.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2011
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    NZ
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    Default Re: GST and container

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan74 View Post
    There was someone else that had a visa of less than 2 years, and yes, they did pay. The guidelines are pretty clear and so I'm not aware of any mechanism around this. I can't beleive the shippers didn't at least warn you of this / confirm that you had a +2 year work visa/residancy visa prior to shipping.

    Sorry that's not what you'll have wanted to hear.
    Thanks for your reply. I'm concerned about the timing of things, the VISA is due to be issued in the coming days which under normal circumstances would have allowed us to bring the goods in duty free.

    Customs have not processed the goods yet. If they process the goods as of today it will be with a visitors visa, if they process it when I have my work visa in the coming days, will they allow the goods to come in duty free?

    H

  4. #4
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    I would strongly advise you to have this conversatiohn with your local (in NZ) customs office now. Immediately. Asking on here is not going to do you any favours. However, I maintain my comments above, I don't think you've got a lot of options as it's already 'landed' for the purposes of customs. There may be some way of loading it back onto a ship unopened, out of NZ waters, and then back, obviously at cost, but that may be cheaper than import duty + 20%gst which you're currently heading for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    36,524

    Default

    Hello and welcome.

    I agree with Duncan. Throw yourself on the mercy of the NZ customs authorities, and keep your fingers crossed. But I'm afraid the letter of the law would probably be against you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cambridge NZ
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hman View Post
    ....I'm told we may be liable for the customs charges and GST because the container arrived while I was still on a visitors visa.....
    This is something that we haven't been told by all SIX shipping companies we have obtained quotations from. Fortunately, we are applying for Residency Visas so shouldn't be affected BUT if I was going out on a Work Visa then there would be a hefty GST bill to pay that I wouldn't have been expecting.

    This advice needs to go on a "Sticky" beneath big neon flashing lights!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    USA
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    hi,
    I did contacted the custom officer through their email: feedback@customs.govt.nz (Amazingly they reply in 10 minutes!)


    This are the message from the custom officer, they need one of the following document in order to give you duty free:

    A document authorising residence in New Zealand means any of the following:


    (a) a New Zealand passport:


    (b) an Australian passport:


    (c) a current New Zealand residence visa or permit, or a current returning residentís visa or

    permit:


    (d) a current permanent residence visa (including a resident return visa) issued by the

    Government of the Commonwealth of Australia:


    (e) a current work visa or work permit that was issued for a minimum of 12 months:


    (f) a current work visa or work permit, issued under the Work to Residence (Skilled Migrant

    Category) policy or the Long Term Business Visa/Permit category:


    (g) a current visitorís visa or permit that was issued for a minimum of 3 years


    Seem like visitor's visa also eligible to get duty free....but with 3 years duration.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skywatcher View Post
    This is something that we haven't been told by all SIX shipping companies we have obtained quotations from. Fortunately, we are applying for Residency Visas so shouldn't be affected BUT if I was going out on a Work Visa then there would be a hefty GST bill to pay that I wouldn't have been expecting.

    This advice needs to go on a "Sticky" beneath big neon flashing lights!!
    There are a number of issues for anyone that enters with a work visa for less than 2 years or a visitors visa. Not just GST on belongings, but healthcare and the like. There are a lot of pitfalls throughout the process and you do need to read all the info and guidance that's sent. This issue is in the notes that they send, in fact on the 'unnacompanied baggage form' itself. I suppose some people may not read that form until they are signing it when all the goods are in the container at their home country......

  9. #9
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    I'm not sure a 3 year visitor visa exists???

    Anyway, that doesn't apply anyway as you didn't have one when the goods arrived. I really really really (yes even more than yesterday) suggest you go down to your customs office or at the minimum call them to discuss immediately. Being blunt emailing them and posting on here is hiding from the issue that you are about to get a bill for $20,000 or so from customs before you get any of your container released. They were really very helpful when I was bringining in a tent and DHL were being a pain - just normal approachable people wanting to be helpful whilst doing their job.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
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    christchurch (formerly essex)
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    Default

    As I understand it they don't actually take/keep the money on this unless you leave the country before your longer work visa/residents visa takes effect. I wouldn't swear to it though and as above I would suggest you go and talk to the customs people yourself, they aren't scary and we've always found them really helpful.

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