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Thread: Customs chargers on personal household shipped after moving to NZ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Customs chargers on personal household shipped after moving to NZ?

    We have moved to NZ early 2014. At that time we were not sure if we would stay for a long time, so we did not ship our entire household. As we now like it so much, we want to ship a container.
    One of the movers has indicated we may be charged customs charges as we are moving stuff after we've moved to NZ. I have had a look at the website, and I'm not sure what applies to us.

    Household items

    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).
    So, we have lived in NZ for the last 21 months, so would we be charged customs charges?

    We are going to ship 2 pieces of whiteware, photo albums, cutlery, a bed, etc. No vehicles / boats, and no super expensive stuff.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007


    The important point is...
    When entering New Zealand either as a returning citizen or resident, or if settling for the first time, your household or other related effects will be admitted free of Customs duty and goods and services tax (GST) for a reasonable time after you arrive, provided you can meet the following requirements:
    (my bolding).

    As long as the time from when you first arrived and your goods arrive is reasonable then no customs charges will apply, and from previous posts it would appear that up to 5 years is considered reasonable?

    BTW, your quote is for you to have lived outside of NZ for at least 21 months and not having lived inside NZ for at least 21 months.

    Worst case scenario, you will have to pay customs charges, but what you may not be aware of, is that they charge based on current value i.e. they take depreciation into account

    Where you have personally owned and used the goods for 90 days or longer, depreciation can be applied.
    So as you have been in NZ for at least 21 months and I assume used your goods prior to arrival then after applying depreciation there value will be substantially less than what they would have cost new and thus any customs charges will also be much lower.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    United Arab Emirates


    Dear boland

    The reasonable time is 21months , I checked with customers , if you ship your household within 21 months you will not be charged , alternatively you can contact customs directly by email I think they will give you exact idea for the same



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012


    I was on the same situation about 15 months ago. I had been back in NZ for 2 years and I shipped the remaining items from the UK (2nd shipment since I arrived) which I had previously owned in UK before I arrived in NZ. Customs told me I had 5 yrs ( I think- mentioned in one of my posts) as long as when I entered NZ originally, I had been out of the country previously for their stipulated time.

    I shipped a sizable amount and no questions asked upon arrival.
    Last edited by lou76; 14th December 2015 at 07:36 AM.

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