RoRo Shipping of Vehicles to New Zealand
Cars are duty free in New Zealand and GST is payable at the rate of 15% should the importer not be eligible for an exemption as follows:
GST Exemption Eligibility
Concessionary entry for motor vehicles is available to persons who have arrived in New Zealand and on the date the motor vehicle is imported, hold a document authorising their residence in New Zealand after living overseas for 21 months or more.
In order to qualify for concessionary entry, the following conditions must be met in:
- You have arrived in New Zealand and on the date the motor vehicle is imported you hold a document authorising permanent residence in New Zealand; and
- For the whole of the period of 21 months preceding your arrival, you have resided outside or have been domiciled outside New Zealand. Brief holidays or exploratory visits do not exclude a person from qualifying for this concession; and
- You have personally owned and used the vehicle for at least one year before the date of your departure for New Zealand, or the date on which the vehicle is surrendered for shipping, whichever is earlier; and
- The vehicle is being imported for your own personal use and not for sale, gift, or disposal in any other way; and
- You give a concession reference 80 undertaking.
These conditions are strictly applied by New Zealand Customs Service and they have no discretion to alter them to suit individuals circumstances.
If this criteria cannot be met, the vehicle will be considered a non-concessionary import, and Customs charges are payable.
A document authorising residence in New Zealand means any of the following:
- A current New Zealand Passport
- A current Australian Passport
- A current New Zealand Residence visa or permit or a current New Zealand returning resident’s visa or permit
- A current permanent residence visa (including a resident return visa) issued by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia
- A current New Zealand work visa or work permit that was issued for a minimum of twelve months
- A current New Zealand work visa or work permit issued under the Work to Residency (Skilled Migrant Category) policy or the Long Term Business Visa/Permit category
- A current New Zealand visitor’s visa or permit that was issued for a minimum of three years
Concession reference 80 undertaking means:
A written undertaking, in the form required by a Customs officer, that if the relevant goods are sold or otherwise disposed of within 2 years from the date of importation, the person signing the undertaking will immediately pay to Customs;
- The Customs charges that would have applied if duty and GST were charged on the goods, at the time of their importation under Part I of the Tariff; or any lesser sum that may be required.
Period of ownership and actual use
Vehicles will not qualify for concessionary entry if the owner surrenders them for shipping to New Zealand before the anniversary of the day on which original delivery was taken, or leaves for New Zealand without having used the vehicle for a minimum of 1 year. For example, if you purchase and take delivery of a vehicle on 20 May, you must not hand it over to be shipped before 20 May of the following year, and you must not leave for New Zealand before that date.
Lifestyle and work requirements may dictate that the owner is not in a position to use the vehicle on a daily basis. This will not necessarily disqualify a vehicle from concessionary entry providing you are able to satisfy the New Zealand Customs Service that the vehicle in question was available for use at all times if required. The key element is that the periods of actual use, if not continuous, should span a full 12 months.
Ministry of Primary Industries(MPI) import clearance
MPI inspect all vehicles for quarantine risks on arrival. These risks include soil, dirt and anything of plant or animal origin.
Should quarantine risks be found then MPI will order treatments to make the cargo safe to enter New Zealand. Soil and dirt on vehicles is the most commonly found risk which MPI orders quarantine washing be undertaken at the importers additional expense.
To avoid this washing it is very important that the vehicle is cleaned thoroughly inside and out before delivery into the port of loading overseas. This includes the engine bay, chassis rails, underneath the vehicle and under the mudguards.
Compliance and Registration of the vehicle
We will deliver your car to a compliance centre.
We will email the required documents to the compliance centre before the car arrives so the
compliance centre can expect the vehicle.
Once the vehicle arrives, we suggest that you touch base with the compliance centre to introduce yourself and discuss the time frame and process.
Normally compliance takes about 2-3 days but sometimes there is a queue.
Once the vehicle has been complied a MR2A certificate will be issued. You should then take the MR2A to a vehicle registration office (see link below) for a first-time NZ registration.
Upon payment of the relevant fee, you will be given a vehicle registration and vehicle plates which can then be taken back to the vehicle at the compliance centre where they will be attached to the vehicle.
Registration fees can vary depending on the carbon emissions of your vehicle. Information concerning this aspect can be found on this New Zealand Transport Agency webpage:
Please note the registration office may not be at the same place as the compliance centre.
For information on the compliance process, go to:
For information on the registration process, go to:
For information on the cost of registration, go to: