Mainfreight   A division of

Customs Declarations

If you are purchasing goods online for personal use, it’s important to take into consideration any duties or tax payable when the goods are received in New Zealand.

You should also be aware of what goods cannot be brought into the country or if they require approval before bringing in.

Before ordering, make sure of the import regulations as they apply to you, and what charges may be due on the goods you wish to bring in.

Make sure the supplier completes an accurate Customs declaration. Goods arriving in New Zealand by post or courier must have a Customs declaration completed by the sender and attached to the package. The declaration should include:

  • an accurate description of the goods
  • their value (normally the actual price you have paid if not a gift)
  • whether they are gifts, commercial, or personal items.

False declarations

Some websites will offer to show a different description of the goods you have ordered and/or a value on the Customs declaration much lower than the actual price paid; this is generally to avoid paying duty and/or GST when the goods come into New Zealand.

However, you as the importer are legally obliged to make sure you have an accurate declaration. If the information is inaccurate, or no declaration is made, the package may be delayed while Customs makes further enquiries. Sometimes the goods may be seized and you will be liable for any charges —the normal duty and GST is still payable in respect to seized goods, and there may also be additional charges as well such as testing, storage etc.

Prohibited or restricted goods

There are certain goods that you are not allowed to have sent to New Zealand under any circumstances, and a number of other goods are restricted.

Further information on the following can be found on our website:

Always read options offered to you by the supplier, and if you are unsure about something check out our website or contact us on 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786).