GST changes for imports to New Zealand


  • If you're shipping low-value goods to customers in New Zealand, you'll need to know about changes to GST on imported goods.
  • The new GST rules came into effect on 1 December 2019.

About GST changes for imports

From 1 December 2019, new goods and services tax (GST) rules came into effect. Overseas businesses that sell low-value goods to consumers in New Zealand may need to register for, collect, and return GST of 15%. 

A low-value good is a physical good valued at NZ$1,000 or less (excluding GST). Examples of low-value goods may include books, clothing, cosmetics, shoes, sporting items and small electronic items.

Goods imported into New Zealand valued over NZ$1,000 will continue to have GST and customs duties applied at the border.

NOTE: You can collect the GST directly on goods greater than NZ$1000 to save customs collecting it. If you populate the NZ IRD number in Starshipit (DHL Express settings), we're assuming you collect GST on all goods (not just NZ$1000 or below), and the customs document will reflect this.

Who is affected by the changes?

These changes apply to:

  • Overseas businesses that sell directly to New Zealand consumers online, by phone or mail order.
  • Online marketplaces that other people or businesses sell items through.

If the value of goods sold to New Zealand customers exceeds NZ$60,000 over a 12-month period, you'll need to register for, collect, and return New Zealand GST on those sales.

The GST charged at the point of sale is based on the customs value of the goods plus any shipping and insurance charges. 

If the changes apply to your business, the legislation requires overseas businesses to:

  1. Update their business systems so they can collect and return GST.
  2. Register for GST in New Zealand, and collect GST on each good valued at NZ$1,000 or less that is sold to customers and delivered to addresses in New Zealand.

Shipping with DHL Express

If you ship with DHL Express and the new GST changes apply to you:

  1. Go to Settings, select Couriers, then select DHL Express.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Fill in the NZ IRD Number field (this is an 8 or 9 digit number, with no other characters).

Starshipit will send this number to DHL Express for any shipments sent internationally to New Zealand. The number will be shown on the commercial invoice: OSR: XXXX, GST collected for all contents on sale (OSR stands for Overseas Supplier Reference, and XXXX will be replaced with your NZ IRD number).

Shipping with Australia Post

Australia Post has announced that their customs declaration forms (CN22 or CN23 labels) do not need to include any additional information, as the postal channel is not required to make changes to labels at this time.

Shipping with New Zealand Post

If you ship from overseas to New Zealand and the new GST changes apply to you:

  • You are not required to display your IRD number on your shipping label.
  • Instead, this must be included in and be captured as part of your electronic manifest for clearance.

If you have any questions around how this applies to you, please speak with your New Zealand Post account manager.

Shipping with other couriers

As of 27 November 2019, the following international couriers that ship from overseas to New Zealand have not implemented changes in response to the new legislation: Deutsche Post, DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific, DHL Parcel Europe, DHL Parcel UK, DPD Local, DPD NL, DPD UK, Fastway, Quantium Solutions, Royal Mail, Seko, or Singapore Post.

What's next?

Visit the New Zealand IRD website for more information on changes to GST on low-value imported goods and how to calculate GST on goods.

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