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Thread: Shipping as gifts? Duty/GST charges?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    United States

    Default Shipping as gifts? Duty/GST charges?

    Hello, I am having major Customs/Duty/ GST confusion.

    I have some items I will be sending from Kansas here in the US, to Auckland. The items are a mix of mostly new goods (cookware set, spice rack, wire shelves) and some "used" (bedding, blankets, shoes, picture frames). I will be sending these (possibly two separate boxes) to my partners address (his new residence). I will be arriving in NZ Feb 23rd, and I am not sure if I or the boxes will make it first. If I claim the new items as gifts to him (which is pretty much what they are, I bought him them in celebration of his new place), will there be duty or GST to pay? I read on the customs website that you are allowed to send $110 worth as gifts.
    And as far as the other personal items of mine, I will be applying for a partnership based temporary work visa when I arrive, but not sure if that does much for me, or if I am allowed a certain amount of used personal goods for myself just as a vistor?

    Im a little dense when it comes to these types of things, hey Im a first-timer so its allowed right?

    If anyone can point me in the best direction of shipping these items so that I will be charged the least amount of duty/taxes/etc I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    We had a similar situation recently when my wife went over to Auckland permanently. Due to the exorbitant costs of extra luggage on Cathay (60 USD/kg) we posted two boxes of personal items for her to at least start work and have some personal items in a rented furnished apartment. It was held up while we got all the forms (itemised list of contents) to them but was eventually released. I read that customs are a bit case by case on new items as gifts, and someone on here also mentioned that when shopping online. Sorry can't be of much more help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Helsinki -> Auckland


    When we moved, we somehow forgot to tell the movers to empty 3 of the draws in the kitchen which contained amongst other things, a set of cutlery that I wasn't willing to leave behind. To bring it as extra luggage would have been very expensive and so we boxed it and shipped it unacompanied baggage. That was cheaper and we declared it as household goods and part of the move and we were not charged any duties on it. You need an airticket to send something unacompanied luggage and so as you are leaving soon, I would think that might be an option you could investigate.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Check out Allowances and duty free concessions

    If your partner has been out of NZ for 21 months then their goods can enter duty free...
    •For the whole of the period of 21 months preceding your arrival, you have lived outside New Zealand (brief holiday or exploratory visits do not exclude a person from qualifying for this concession).
    For your goods, you will have a clothing and personal effects concession, otherwise if you don't meet residency requirements then you will need to pay duty which will include depreciation depending on how old the goods are.


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