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Posted: March 31, 2023Category: Q&As

Everything you need to know about Importing

As a small nation, New Zealand imports a significant amount of goods to meet its consumer and industry needs. Understanding the current import rates into New Zealand is essential for businesses looking to expand into the New Zealand market or import goods for personal use. Here's an overview of the current import rates into New Zealand.

Import Duty

Import duty is a tax paid on imported goods. It's calculated based on the value of the goods, the country of origin, and the type of goods. The duty rates vary depending on the goods and range from 0% to 10%. For example, the duty rate for apparel and textiles is typically around 10%, while the rate for books and printed materials is 0%.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax charged on imported goods, similar to sales tax in other countries. The current GST rate in New Zealand is 15%. Importers must pay GST on the value of the goods, including any duty paid, and the cost of shipping and insurance.

Customs Charges

Customs charges are fees charged by the New Zealand Customs Service for processing imported goods. These charges vary depending on the type of goods, the value of the goods, and the shipping method. For example, the customs processing fee for goods valued under NZD 1,000 is NZD 49.57, while the fee for goods valued over NZD 1,000 is 0.465% of the goods' value.

Temporary Import Entry

Temporary Import Entry (TIE) allows goods to be temporarily imported into New Zealand for a specific purpose, such as exhibitions or demonstrations. Goods imported under TIE are exempt from customs duty and GST, but they must be re-exported within a specified time frame.


Tariffs are taxes on specific goods, such as agricultural products, that are designed to protect local industries. The tariff rates vary depending on the goods and can range from 0% to 50%. For example, the tariff rate for fresh apples is 0%, while the rate for sugar is 50%.

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

New Zealand has several FTAs with other countries, including Australia, China, Japan, and the United States. These agreements reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain goods, making it easier and more affordable for businesses to import them. For example, under the China-New Zealand FTA, tariffs on New Zealand exports to China have been progressively reduced or eliminated since the agreement came into force in 2008.


Importers should be aware of the various taxes and fees, including import duty, GST, customs charges, and tariffs, and consider the benefits of free trade agreements when importing goods. Method Logistics has years of experience helping different businesses import their goods into the country. We offer informed expertise in all stages of the process as well as customs brokerage in order to help you successfully navigate the complex import process and take advantage of the opportunities available in the New Zealand market.

For any more information about importing into New Zealand with Method Logistics check out here.

For more information about clearing customs when importing check out here.

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