Will I have to Pay Tax When Importing into New Zealand?
We have a great set up between Australia and NZ and many people are eligible for GST exemption, meaning you pay NO taxes on import. In general if you meet below criteria you will be successful in exemption.
1. Be a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand citizen
2. If a returning citizen, you must have been out of New Zealand for over 21 months.
3. Be prepared to sign a deed where you agree not to sell the vehicle for at least 2 years.
4. Vehicle must have been owned and used for last 12 months.
5. You must be physically in New Zealand in order to claim exemption.
And, You Must Provide The Following Documents:
1. Proof of ownership over the last 12 months (registration certificate / insurance document)
2. Purchase receipt / bill of sale for the vehicle
How do I handle compliance and registration?
All imported vehicles entering New Zealand for the first time need to undergo compliance in order to ensure it’s safe for use on NZ roads. The best way to think of compliance is like a safety certificate or a warrant of fitness, although a little more thorough.
Willship International has a network of experienced teams all over New Zealand who can either handle this process on your behalf or guide you through what you need to do to get your vehicle on to New Zealand roads.
It’s Fast and Easy
Shipping a car between Australia and New Zealand is very simple, transit times can be as little as 4 days on the water and the whole process can take as little as two weeks. The documents we require are minimal and we handle everything for you from start to finish.
We are always a phone call or an email away for advice on anything that might come up during the shipping process, and always do our best to pre-empt any problems that might arise
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We have moved thousands of vehicles in and out of Australia. Our team understands how important it is to safely move your goods from one place to another. That is why we will look after your asset while in-transit and deliver it to the designated location whilst taking the utmost care. Whether you are purchasing aluxury or classic car from overseas or you're moving aboard and want to take your cargo with you, you can trust Willship with your shipping needs. We are the international shipping partner you can depend on and our past clients can attest to our proven track record!
A big thanks to the Team at WillShip International.
They’ve just shipped my Triton from Perth to Wellington.
If you want a totally Stress free, reliable company these guys are the ones to use.
Fantastic Price and I was always kept up to date on the arrival of my Ute.
Thanks so much!
Highly professional company who do what they say they will. I was extremely happy with their efforts to assist me in importing my car into NZ recently. Highly recommended!
Easy straightforward service and great advice they gave us saving hundreds of dollars. Great companies highly recommend if we ever move vehicles and are so affordable. We are happy customers
Shipped our vehicle from Brisbane to Auckland New Zealand. The process was a total breeze.
The whole team was fantastic to deal with. Prompt communication, forwarded all necessary information and very pleasant to deal with. Answered all of our questions. Compliance was pre-paid through Willship International and was the best decision we made.
Thank you to the Willship team.
They looked after me and kept me up to date on both sides of the Tasman. Every person I spoke to was courteous and happy and that includes the pick of and delivery guys.
The staff in both Brisbane and Wellington were amazing. They made the process so much less stressful than I had anticipated. The team in Wellington kept me updated several times a day on what was happening with my car.
I would highly recommend Willship to anyone needing to ship their vehicle overseas.
I have to say that Carol & I are extremely happy with the service provided, both in Australia and New Zealand in these difficult times, instant responses to emails and questions and we would have no hesitation in recommending Willship International to future customers
Thanks to the team at Willship for making the movement of my 2 cars from Aus to NZ so smooth and effortless, awesome people to deal with, highly recommend them
We used Willship International to bring our truck to NZ from Brisbane. From organizing our quote, insurances to dropping the truck into Brisbane and getting it to our doorstep in NZ was AMAZING!!!
Communication from The Brisbane Crew to the Great Team in NZ made the whole process so easy and stress-free. Definitely recommend these guys to anyone wanting to move vehicles over the water.
Five-star service guys and girls. ☆☆☆☆☆ Very grateful.
I couldn’t be happier with the service I received from Willship when I sent my car home to Wellington from Melbourne.
The team were out of this world helpful, answered all my questions, there were no surprises at all and even the paperwork was made easy with their help.
Thank you all so very much. Totally recommend them.
Common Questions And Responses
Australia To New Zealand RoRo Shipping
It depends on the method of car shipping you choose, if you want to go with Roll on, Roll off then nothing can be left inside the vehicle – all personal items will need to be removed.
If you would like to send extra items along with the vehicle then we will need to go for either a 20ft or 40ft container, or if you are going to Auckland ex one of the East Coast ports in Australia then you can make use of our 40ft shared container service.
Roll on, Roll off shipping is specifically designed for the movement of empty vehicle’s, there are several reasons why you can’t include personal items with the vehicle:
- Theft and Pillaging can be a bit of an issue with RoRo shipping – We have no control over who works on the ports or who the shipping line employ to staff the vessel. The vehicle needs to remain unlocked and accessible at all times during the shipping process so customs and quarantine can complete their relevant inspections so if you choose to leave personal items inside the vehicle then these items are more or less ‘free for the taking’ for anyone working on the port as they all know that they shouldn’t be there in the first place
- The shipping line won’t accept any responsibility for any items left inside vehicles, nor will they allow us to declare them on any of the Bills of Lading meaning that any item left inside the vehicle technically means you are trying to smuggle undeclared items in through the border. Even if you wanted to declare them the shipping line won’t allow it as they don’t want to be legally responsible, hence the blanket rule that no items can be left inside the car
- Lastly, if the shipping lines gave the OK for people to load items inside their vehicle’s it would open a pandora’s box of what is and isn’t allowed, for example you would have people loading up there cars from top to bottom with anything and everything, they would pack up ute’s filled with all sorts of cargo which also would have the potential of breaking loose and causing havoc as it moved around the inner deck of the vessel whilst at sea.
It completely depends on the conditions of your contract with your finance company, every financial lender is different so the first step will be to contact your current finance company and ask for their terms regarding taking the vehicle out of the country.
Quite a few finance companies operate in both Australia and New Zealand so it could potentially be no problem at all.
The real ‘issue from their perspective would be that if the vehicle is the security against the loan, and you were to default on your payments, they would repossess the vehicle – Of course if you shipped this outside of Australia then of course this removes their ability to do so. If the finance company will NOT allow the export of the vehicle outside of Australia you still have a couple of options:
- Pay your loan out here in Australia if you have the funds available to free up the encumbrance on the vehicle
- Take out a personal loan to pay off the vehicle.
- Re-finance through an Australian or NZ lender who will allow you to move the vehicle
*Please note that if you do have finance owing on a vehicle at the time of arrival into New Zealand, then you will NOT be eligible for the GST exemption as you technically don’t own the vehicle – the finance company does. It can still be imported but it will be subject to import GST.
If you don’t have a registration certificate or old renewal notice lying around then you will need to contact the department of transport and request one to be mailed out to you. An the original registration document is important for several reasons, it’s needed to prove that you have used the vehicle here in Australia, and it’s also needed in order to get the vehicle complied and registered over in New Zealand.
If you don’t have a purchase invoice you will have a couple of options, if you purchase the the vehicle through a dealership then you could get in contact with them and ask them to send you out a copy.
If the vehicle was purchased as a private sale, and you don’t have any paperwork to show this purchase then you can type up a bill of sale and backdate it. NZ customs have recently cracked down on typed and handwritten bill’s of sales due to the fact that they can be easily doctored, so if you’re looking to claim the GST exemption we will need further proof of the transaction, generally, a bank statement showing the movement of funds between you and the seller is ideal, or even a large withdrawal of cash in the days prior to the purchase is also acceptable.
Important: If you can’t get any form of bill of sale or any supporting evidence documenting the transaction, then NZ customs will order a valuation on the vehicle on arrival, the valuation will cost AUD 300.00 so it’s best to try and dig up the paperwork to avoid this cost if at all possible.
No, we do all this for you, our team over in NZ will work with customs on your behalf to do this all for you.
It is possible to deliver the vehicle into the port yourself in Brisbane, Port Kembla, Melbourne and Adelaide although if you do not hold an MSIC card you will need to pay an escort fee to the terminal and sit through an induction. The induction cost is generally more than the towing cost into the port anyway, so for any port except Port Kembla it’s much easier / cheaper just to let us organize the car transportation into the port via our security cleared tow trucks.
Since Port Kembla is so far away from Sydney (approx 100km) we always give you the option to deliver yourself or to have it collected and delivered via tow truck so the decision is yours.
Over in NZ, it will not be legal for you to collect your car from the port and drive it away, all vehicle’s need to undergo compliance before they can legally be registered and driven on NZ roads, all of our quotes include trucking a car out of the port, and delivery within the metro area via a security cleared tow truck so it’s best if we look after the vehicle transport on your behalf. If your final destination is far away from the major ports, then we are happy to advise on vehicle transportation costs for the last leg of the journey if required.
No, you can nominate a friend or family member to hand the car over to us.
No, you can nominate anyone to collect the vehicle on your behalf. If you are claiming the GST exemption however you will need to ensure you are somewhere in New Zealand when the vessel carrying your vehicle arrives into NZ. If you are not claiming the GST exemption and are happy to pay the import tax then you don’t need to be in New Zealand and anyone can collect the car for you.
You can, but we do not recommend it and it’s shipped strictly at your own risk. We have no control over who works on the ports both here in Australia and over in New Zealand, as well as who the crew are on the vessel. Roll on, Roll off shipping is designed strictly for the movement of empty vehicles, so if you choose to leave the baby seat in there then there is a chance it won’t be there at the other end. If the baby seat is not worth much money then it could be worth a gamble, although if you want to ensure you have it over in NZ then you are best off taking it as excess luggage on the plane when you fly across.
Compliance is a very thorough, one time process that your vehicle has to go through before it can be registered for the first time in NZ. They test a range of safety features on your vehicle – seatbelt restraints, tyre tread, break pads, windscreens, etc. – they strip the inside of the vehicle so that the actual structure of the vehicle can be inspected to ensure it’s never been significantly damaged, and they test the emissions that your vehicle produces. Once this process is complete you’ll be issued with a certificate of compliance and a warrant of fitness and will be able to register your vehicle. After this, you will just need to get a warrant of fitness periodically.
Your vehicle needs to be tested and inspected to ensure it meets New Zealand’s safety and environmental standards set by their transport authority. Basically, they want to make sure your vehicle is fit to be on the road and isn’t causing the environment too much harm.
No, your vehicle will have to be tested and complied to New Zealand’s safety and environmental rules. While they would be very similar to Australian standards, it’s still a different country with different processes so your vehicle needs to be tested at an authorised New Zealand testing facility.
Our first step is to choose a sailing date. Once we have your dates worked out we’ll send you an email with the list of documents and information that we need from you to be able to get your booking in place.
Vehicle Shipping from Australia is what we specialize in so rest assured you’ll be in good hands with Willship.
Once we have your booking in place and we know exactly which of our services you wish to use, then we will send you through an invoice and this will need to be paid around the time of shipping. We can accept payment via bank transfer or credit card. We do not require a deposit in order to proceed with a booking
When it comes to Car Shipping from Australia, you’ll need to be sure that you make an effort to clean it up as best you can prior to shipping.
Your vehicle will be going through a quarantine inspection when it arrives in NZ, so you’ll have to try to make sure there is no biological matter (plant or animal material, grass clippings, seeds, leaves, animal hairs, bugs etc.) on your vehicle prior to shipping to ensure it has the best chance at passing that initial inspection. If any of this material is found on your vehicle during the inspection you will be charged for decontamination and reinspection.
Please also note that paying hundreds of dollars for a professional detail in Australia won’t guarantee a pass from NZ quarantine, so you are better off not spending too much money getting your vehicle cleaned in Australia and just taking the time to do you best to clean the vehicle yourself.
Our compliance partner only operates in Auckland and Christchurch so we can’t book your vehicle in for compliance in Wellington or Nelson, but we can, of course, point you in the right direction. We’d recommend contacting a VTNZ in either Nelson or Wellington about getting your vehicle on the road. If you’re happy to use that company, we can move your vehicle to their facility so long as it’s within 20km’s of the port at no extra cost.
This will depend on your chosen method of shipping.
Roll on Roll off is 3-5 business days after the arrival of the vessel.
A dedicated 20ft or 40ft container is 5-8 business days after the arrival of the vessel.
A shared Container is 7-14 business days after the arrival of the vessel.
If you choose our compliance included option then allow a further 5 working days extra from the above stated timeframes to move the vehicle to our compliance depot and to have it complied and warranted, ready for collection and registration.
Please remember if your car is stopped for quarantine cleaning or treatment purposes it can take longer depending on how much work is required.
Decontamination of your goods can only be ordered by The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) – A Division of the NZ Government.
MPI can order a variety of treatments from a simple Vacuum of a leaf, to Steam Sterilisation and Fumigation – the costs for which vary substantially depending on what MPI might order.
The most Basic of Decontamination can be as little as $135.00+Gst for the actual Physical tasks however there are other fees that can apply for:
- Documentation Processing
- Certified Destruction of Contamination
- Transfers of the vehicle to the MPI quarantine decontamination facility
- MPI Re-Inspection of the cargo once the decontamination has been completed.
These charges vary depending on what method of shipping you use but can easily exceed four of five hundred dollars in total depending on what is required. Our advice is always to make sure you read the ‘Vehicle preparation’ section on your quote, and to get the vehicle as clean as you can prior to shipping without spending too much money on a valet or detailing service that only focuses on shining up the paint, and not the areas where contamination hides unseen waiting to be found on arrival by a MPI officer (eg: under the vehicle, under the wheel arches etc)
This will give you your best chance of passing the inspection or at least limiting the work required to decontaminate.