Skip to main content

COVID-19 - Level 4 If you have been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to help. Find out more

Service update Some of our key services are currently unavailable while we make some improvements to our system. These will be back on 8am, 16 April. Find out more

Service update Some of our key services will be unavailable from 3pm, 9 April until 16 April for a system upgrade. Find out more

As of 1 December 2019, overseas businesses that sell low value goods to consumers in New Zealand may need to register for, collect and return goods and services tax (GST).

A low value good is a physical good valued at NZ$1,000 or less, excluding GST.

Examples of low value goods include:

  • books
  • clothing
  • cosmetics
  • shoes
  • sporting equipment
  • electronic items.

These changes apply to:

  • overseas businesses that sell goods directly to New Zealand consumers online, by phone or mail order
  • online marketplaces that merchants sell goods and services through
  • redeliverers that offer mailbox redelivery
  • personal shopping services from countries other than New Zealand.

These changes do not apply to:

  • goods sold to New Zealand GST-registered businesses making business-related purchases with some exceptions
  • supplies of fine metal
  • alcohol and tobacco products where GST, excise taxes and customs duties are applied at the border regardless of value.

An overseas GST-registered business can choose to charge GST on a sale to a New Zealand GST-registered business if both of these apply:

  • the value of the supply is NZ$1,000 or less
  • in the 12 months after the sale, the business expects that more than 50% of all its sales to New Zealand customers will be made to non-GST registered customers.

Charging GST on high value goods

Distinguishing between low value goods (items individually having an estimated customs value of NZ$1,000 or less) and high value goods (items with an estimated customs value above NZ$1,000) may be difficult for suppliers.

Overseas businesses can choose to charge GST on goods valued above NZ$1,000 supplied to consumers in New Zealand if either:

  • 75% or more of the total value of the goods consists of those individually valued at NZ$1,000 or less
  • we have given them approval.

 This is different from Australia where, if several goods total over A$1,000, the supplier can decide not to charge GST if they reasonably believe they will be imported in 1 consignment.