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Moving to New Zealand

Nouvelle Zélande / Nueva Zelanda / Nova Zelândia / Neuseeland/ Nya Zeeland

Want to move to Auckland? Considering moving to Wellington? Or thinking about an international removal to Chrsitchurch. Here’s the moving advice you’ll need for any international removal to New Zealand…


Moving Household Goods And Personal Effects To New Zealand

Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning an international removal to New Zealand:

  • Copy of Passport (Of the individual moving/importing the goods)
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB) - We will take care of this if completing the entire international removal to New Zealand for you.
  • Treatment / cleaning certificates for the shipment goods
  • CITES permit, if applicable
  • Detailed moving inventory valued and in English
  • Copy of prescriptions for prescribed drugs
  • Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) supplementary declaration form, if applicable
  • Unaccompanied personal baggage declaration
  • Residence visa / residence permit, if applicable
  • Work visa / work permit (minimum of 12 months / skilled migrant / long-term business visa or permit)
  • Visitor's visa / permit issued for a minimum of 3 years
  • Trade single window - client registration application, if applicable
  • Receipts for new items
  • List of wine collections with evidence showing the wine has been collected over a period of time and is of various types

We recommend providing these as soon as possible to reduce delays with your removal to New Zealand. Late receipt of documentation can lead to missed shipments, additional charges and penalties at New Zealand Customs. For your own protection, we will almost never ship your goods without the above in place.

Additional Removal Advice

  • Household goods can be imported free of duty and tax (GST) if imported by a person who has arrived in New Zealand, and has one of the following
    • New Zealand / Australian passport
    • New Zealand residence visa / permit
    • Returning resident visa / permit
    • New Zealand work visa / permit issued for a minimum of 12 months
    • Permanent resident visa
    • Returning resident visa issued by the government of the Commonwealth of Australia
    • Work visa / permit (minimum of 12 months / skilled migrant / long-term business visa / permit)
    • Visitor visa / permit issued for a minimum of 3 years
  • Note:If owner of the goods does not have one of the above, at the time of arrival of the shipment into New Zealand, duty and tax (GST) will be payable to New Zealand Customs.
  • Duty will be applicable to furniture, kitchenware and some electrical and household goods at 5% on the "landed value" of the goods.
    • Landed value is the cost of the items plus freight and insurance.
    • GST of 15% will then be charged on the landed value including the duty.
    • The final amount payable to New Zealand Customs will be duty + GST
  • Personal jewelry, books, and clothing are not subject to duty or GST.
  • Any wood packaging used in shipments (crates, pallets etc.) must be constructed of approved treated timber and meet and display the internationally recognized ISPM 15 standard.
    • Any non-compliant timber may be destroyed, treated or re-exported to the country of origin at the owner of the goods' expense.
  • The owner of the goods must be inpresent at the time of shipment arrival or duty and/or tax will be charged on the shipment, even if other criteria for duty and tax free entry of your goods is met.
    • Duty or tax paid at the time of entry of your goods cannot be reclaimed.
      • This revenue is not refundableeven if at a later stage the owner of the goods obtains a qualifying visa, as at the time of importation they did not qualify for the concession and therefore the revenue was not paid in error.
  • All packing / moving inventory lists are screened by the MPI Quarantine Service to determine whether a consignment requires an examination or can be released immediately, but most consignments of personal effects and household goods require some kind of an inspection.
    • Common items that are inspected and of biosecurity interest include but are not limited to:
      • Food of any kind
      • Animal products such as meat (fresh or dried), eggs, dairy products, honey, skins, fur, feathers, bone, wool, hair, hunting trophies, fish/shell fish (fresh, dried, or frozen), Chinese traditional medicines, shells and coral, ivory
      • Plants or plant products such as fresh or dried fruit and cones, vegetables, plants/flowers live and dried, plant cuttings and bud wood, bulbs or roots, seeds, pine antique and/or handcrafted wooden ornaments/carvings, cane, bamboo, basket ware, straw, Chinese traditional medicines
      • Equipment used with animals and/or plants such as veterinary equipment/products, fishing gear, fish farming equipment, saddlery, work boots/clothing, pet bedding, gardening equipment/products and forestry equipment
      • Miscellaneous items such as vacuum cleaners, spiked, studded or sprigged footwear (e.g., golf shoes, soccer boots), hiking boots, soiled footwear, water sports equipment, bicycles, boats, vehicle parts, camping equipment/tents, barbeques, Christmas and/or Easter decorations, Pooja items
  • Some items may be required to be cleaned or treated for fumigation.
  • Items are subject to Customs discretion for seizure, destruction, or shipped back to the origin country at the owner of the goods' expense.
  • It is recommended that all items that have come into contact with soil, grass, leaves, vegetation, water, seeds, animals, and insects should be thoroughly cleaned and free from any contamination.
  • Inheritance:
    • If the owner of the goods is a permanent resident of New Zealand, they may import inherited goods duty free with the following documents:
      • Copy of death certificate or letter from solicitor
      • Copy of will or certified copy of relevant extract of will showing the name of the beneficiary and their legacy

Note: New Zealand Quarantine (MPI) changed the law so that no containers can go directly from port to residence any longer. From now on, every container entering New Zealand must be unloaded and inspected at a transitional facility before being reloaded and delivered to residence.

Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

  • Commerical invoice (if purchased less than 12 months prior to import of goods)
  • B.A.D.A cerificate of authenticity (obtained from approved antique dealers)

Additional Removal Advice

  • Antiques are considered items over 100 years old.
    • Can be imported duty and tax (GST) free provided they are not for re-sale and have proof of ownership for more than 12 months.
    • If the goods were purchased less than 12 months prior to import they are subject to duty (approx. 7%) plus 15% GST on their landed value.
      • If they are certified to be over 100 years old and the owner of the goods can show a letter / proof of antiquity the duty will not apply and the import will only be subject to 15% GST.

Wedding Trousseau / Gifts

  • Duty and tax free in line with the regulations for normal used household effects.

Helpful Downloads

Click on the links below to download useful documents:

  • My Move Checklist

    To help you keep on track with your international removal.

  • Removal Inventory / Packing List

    For use if you need to provide a removal packing list or moving inventory yourself for your international removal service.

  • Removal Survey Cubic Calculator

    For use if you need to find out the volume of your move before making an enquiry. Remember when doing an international move, to allow a little more space for loading volume.

  • Removal Survey Information Form

    For use for you to better describe the requirements of your move. This outlines all the things that a professional international removal company would need to know to physically move your goods.

  • International Removal Insurance Form

    If you're taking out insurance with us, download this form, complete it and email it back to your international relocation manager.

Popular Destinations in New Zealand

Pearson is vastly experience in international removals to cities all over the globe. Their long history and detailed knowledge of different countries makes them the perfect choice for your move. Here are some of the most popular destinations we are asked to move people to in New Zealand:

Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier - Hastings, Dunedin, Palmerston North, Nelson, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Whangarei


Need Help?

If you are unsure about what you need, one of our international move managers is always willing to help. Just call us on +44 (0)1827 873 773, or fill out an international removal enquiry, and we’ll ease you through the process.


Moving Your Money

If you’re moving to New Zealand, it’s very likely you’ll have to exchange a large amount of currency. Many people waste thousands doing this through their bank as they think there is no alternative; but we partner with FC Exchange who specialise in doing just this. FC Exchange will offer all Pearson customers preferential rates when exchanging currency and guarantee to beat other rates you’re receiving. Ask one of our move managers about this, or click here to find out more...


Get Insurance

We always advise taking out an insurance policy with us on every move. Although we like to think we’re the best in the industry, the odd accident can occasionally happen. For added peace of mind, make sure to speak to one of our move managers about this.

If you have already contracted us for your international removal to New Zealand, then you can download the insurance form and email the completed form back to your international relocation manager.


Moving Your Car or Motorcycle

Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning to move your vehicle to New Zealand:

  • Copy of Passport (Of the individual moving/importing the goods)
  • Registration papers (prove length of ownership)
  • Statement of compliance
  • Owner of the goods code form
  • Supplier code form
  • Sales invoice
  • Deed of undertaking
  • Car condition report

Additional Import Advice

  • Motor vehicles can be imported free of tariff duty and taxes if imported by a person who:
    • Has arrived in New Zealand
    • Holds a document authorizing residency at the time of import
    • Has lived abroad for more than 12 months
    • Has owned and personally used the goods 12 months prior to import
  • Must sign a deed of undertaking to confirm that the vehicle is for personal use and will not be sold for 2 years.
  • GST of 15% will be applied to private vehicles that have not been owned / used for more than 12 months.
  • The vehicle must have been owned and used for at least 12 months prior to shipping or the owner of the goods' departure for New Zealand, whichever is earlier.

Relocating Your Pets

These documents will be required when planning to relocate your pet to New Zealand:

  • Vaccination record
  • Import permit (if necessary)
  • Veterinary health certificate

Additional Import Advice

  • Some of the prohibited breeds include:
    • American Pit Bull Terrier
    • Brazilian Fila
    • Dogo Argentino
    • Japanese Tosa

Restricted & Dutiable/Taxable Items

Think very carefully before moving these items to New Zealand. Items on this list will be taxed and/or require specific permission to import. In all cases they must be declared prior to you relocating to New Zealand:

  • Firearms or parts (a permit issued by the New Zealand Police is required prior to import)
  • Ivory in any form, tortoise or sea turtle jewelry or ornaments, animal bone carvings, cat skins or coats, trophies of sea turtles, all big cats, rare reptiles, cranes, pheasants, bears, antelope and deer.
  • Live species of eagles, hawks, owls and parrots, many cacti, orchids, cycads, cyclamens and carnivorous plants.
  • The following items are subject to tariff duties as indicated:
    • Baby strollers 5%
    • Bags (handbags, briefcases) 5%
    • Bed linens and blankets 5%
    • Chinaware and cookware 5%
    • Cosmetics 5%
    • Curtains 5%
    • Cutlery 5%
    • Footwear 10%
    • Jewelry 5%
    • Lamps 5%
    • Perfume 5%
    • Pots and pans 5%
    • Saddles 5%
    • Sleeping bags 5%
    • Toys 5%
    • Wet suits 5%

Prohibited/Banned Items

Do not move any of these items to New Zealand:

  • Controlled drugs other than prescribed medicines including but not limited to LSD, heroin, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy, steroids, human growth hormone, performance enhancing drugs, precursor substances
  • Pornographic materials or those that promote, incite, or instruct in matters of crime or violence, or misuse of drugs
  • Weapons including flick knives, butterfly knives, swordsticks, knuckle-dusters, disguised weapons, etc.
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Goods designed with the intent to facilitate crime

Disclaimer: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This information is provided as a guide only. While Pearson has exercised reasonable care in publishing this information, Pearson makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

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