Moving To New Zealand

We Got You Covered

Customs Regulations for New Zealand

  • Passport (original)
  • Residence Visa
  • Proof of Residence
  • Inventory, stating contents of cartons in detail (all items marked “PBO” – packed by owner and “misc.” – miscellaneous are subject to inspection)
  • Customs Declaration (customer must be in country to complete the Customs Declaration form prior to their shipment’s arrival)
  • Proof of Employment
  • Proof of transfer of funds to New Zealand
  • Customer must be present in New Zealand at the time of Customs clearance to sign the Declaration of Contents
  • If shipments are forwarded to New Zealand prior to customer’s arrival, Customs will require a Sight Entry
    • Customs will inspect the shipment and require a Customs duty deposit on the insured value, until customer can provide proof of entry to New Zealand, at which time the deposit will be refunded.
  • Fumigation of shipment may be required
    • Charges for this service will be for the Customer’s account
  • Shipments may require inspection by Quarantine however, this requirement is only made known during the clearance procedure
    • Charges for this service will be for the Customer’s account

Some articles may have restricted quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in New Zealand. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • New items
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
    • Allowed if listed as household contents or part of collector’s cellar
    • Duty and tax free for first time immigrants
  • Radio transmitting equipment may not comply with New Zealand radio frequency service
  • Firearms and ammunition strictly controlled, Police Permit is required
    • Must be packed separately, individually listed on the inventory, and stowed at the front of the container for easy access
    • Shipper must contact the New Zealand Police Department upon arrival to obtain permits
      • New Zealand Customs will not give clearance of the total shipment until documentation is received from the police
    • Small firearms/pistols are not permitted unless client will register them with a gun club
    • Semi-automatic military type firearms are not allowed
    • Arms Permit/Registration Certificate detailing make, model, and serial numbers are required
  • Agricultural regulations apply to the following items:
    • Food of any kind
    • Biological specimens
    • Plants or animals (alive or dead) or their products
    • Equipment used with animals
  • The following items must be thoroughly cleaned prior to importation:
    • Garden tools/implements, tents, vacuum cleaners, basketware, bicycles, outdoor sports equipment, feather, fur or skin products, etc. (all of which are closely inspected)
    • Bamboo, cane or rattan, regardless of origin will be inspected
      • Will only be fumigated if infected
    • Wood used for crating must be free of bark, insect and fungal attack.
      • Timber Certificate must be sent with documents
  • All items of agricultural, animal or food origin, or use must be clearly identified and loaded for easy access for inspection
    • Agricultural Inspection may take up to two days
    • May take an additional seven days if fumigation is required
  • If full container, quarantine inspection will take place at residence

In New Zealand, some articles may not be imported whatsoever. These items include, but may not be limited to:

  • Canned or dried meat, spices, honey, dairy and egg products or bee keeping equipment
  • Flick knives, swordsticks and knuckledusters
  • Drugs
  • Prescription medicine must be accompanied by a doctor’s prescription and be carried in the original container
  • Pornographic material (subject to seizure)

Customers moving to New Zealand for the first time may import one vehicle (or motorcycle). The vehicle may be admitted into the country if:

  • The customer attends a Customs Clearance interview
    • This includes customers bringing in motorcycles and motor scooters
  • The vehicle has been owned for one year prior to departure to New Zealand
    • Said vehicle will not be sold for two years
    • Is for the Customer’s own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way
  • Customer and spouse may each import one vehicle as long as each holds a valid driver’s license and can provide evidence of personal ownership and use of the vehicle
  • Vehicles must comply with New Zealand Ministry of Transport Vehicle Standard regulations
  • Restrictions apply to importation of left-hand drive vehicles
    • Before shipping you must obtain written approval to import from the Ministry of Transport
  • Loading vehicle in container with household goods is not advisable (any problems with release by Customs or Quarantine will delay delivery of both household goods and auto)
  • All vehicles must be steam cleaned and spotless before shipping (certificate required on arrival)

You will need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • The make, model, year and current value of the vehicle
  • Certificate of steam cleaning
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Original Bill of Sale (showing purchase price and date)
  • Insurance and Registration Certificate (to prove the length of ownership)
  • Log Book, service book or repair accounts (showing further proof of the length of ownership)

When importing a pet to New Zealand, the requirements are:

  • A Permit to Import (American Pit Bull Terriers are subject to a ban on importation)
  • A Model Veterinary Certificate and the accompanying tests and vaccines (approved by veterinary authority of the exporting country)
  • Identification microchip required by the International Standards Organisation (ISO)
  • Post-arrival inspection
  • Post-arrival quarantine
    • Required for a minimum of 10 days
    • Vaccinations required for quarantine:
      • Cats – feline panleukopenia (enteritis), feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus
      • Dogs – canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, canine parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
  • Imported dogs and cats may be subject to charges from Customs
  • Clothing and personal effects worn on your person into Customs
  • Used household goods (including furniture and electrical appliances) and personal effects are duty-free provided:
    • The customer intends to be a permanent resident
    • The customer has lived outside New Zealand for 21 months and has owned and used the goods prior to departure to New Zealand
    • Goods are for their own personal use
  • Heirlooms/historical objects or items that are passed down from generation to generation through a family are free of Customs duty and GST with suitable evidence)
    • Importation of household goods from deceased estates will be accepted free of duty provided a copy of the Death Certificate and Will are provided
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products will be duty/tax free basis if:
    • Listed as part of normal household contents
    • Listed as part of a collector’s cellar
    • Client is a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand resident after 21 months overseas
  • New Zealand citizens will be required to pay Customs duty and tax on all vehicles imported as part of the Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Any person taking up permanent residence for the first time can import one vehicle exempt from needing an import license duty and GST free assuming:
    • The vehicle has been owned for at least one year before departure to New Zealand
    • It will not be sold for two years after arrival
    • It is for the Customer’s own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way
  • Personal goods obtained overseas or purchased duty free in New Zealand (excluding alcohol and tobacco)
    • Cannot exceed more than NZ$700, if it does you may be eligible to pay Customs duty and GST

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 788-1090

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to New Zealand

At International Sea & Air Shipping, we offer range of services; we specialize in overseas moving; including shipping personal effects and household goods, export packing and crating, and shipping internationally, motor vehicle and boats. Whether you’re relocating from the USA for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga or any other major city or town in New Zealand, you can count on our dedicated teams of professionals to handle everything smoothly and professionally, from beginning to end.

At International Sea & Air Shipping, our moving specialists will assist you with every aspect of planning your move. Find out more about all our available moving and shipping services and options to decide what best suits your needs based on certain criteria:

  • Your moving timeline. When do you need to be in New Zealand? Should you ship your goods via air or sea freight?
  • Your real estate plans. Will you be renting or buying?
  • Your fragile items. Do you require custom crating services?
  • Your family/household size. Are you moving alone or with family? For business or personal reasons?
  • Cubic feet estimate. How large is your shipment?

How Much Does it Cost to Move to New Zealand?

Schedule a home survey to receive an accurate estimate to ship your goods. One of our moving specialists will visit your home, assess your belongings and provide you with a free quote for your desired services. The cost will vary based on the cubic footage of your shipment, the method of shipping (air vs. sea freight) the services you require (packing and custom crating), and many other factors.

The process of shipping to New Zealand takes 8-10 weeks depend on the size of your shipment. Our employees will pack your household goods and personal belongings in seaworthy packaging, after which they will be transported by sea, while small consignments will be sent by air. We will visit you at your home and will discuss with you what is required in order to move to the UK. We will draw up a detailed inventory and will explain to you the specific regulations for the customs clearance of your belongings, to ensure you are fully prepared for moving to New Zealand. By ensuring thorough preparations and by engaging reliable movers of International Sea & Air Shipping International Movers, we will ensure that you will have no surprises when moving to New Zealand.

About New Zealand

Known as the small offshore neighbor of Australia, the two islands (North and South) that make up New Zealand are well loved for their lush landscapes and scenic views, which were immortalized in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Coming in at a size like Great Britain and Japan, New Zealand has roughly four million residents and as such is a gloriously uncrowded feast for the eyes. Whether you’re looking to experience the majesty of glaciers, fiords, mountains, subtropical forests, sandy beaches or volcanic plateaus, New Zealand has an eyeful for you.

Can’t wait to get started with your overseas relocation to New Zealand? First, find out what you’ll need to clear Customs.

International Moving to New Zealand from the United States and Back

Are you planning a move to New Zealand? International moves require thorough research, preparation, and qualified overseas shippers to ensure your goods arrive safely in your new country. Before you do anything, let International Sea & Air Shipping assist you with the logistics of relocating to New Zealand.

International Sea & Air Shipping is an international moving company offering door-to-door moving and relocation services worldwide. As a leader among international moving companies, we’re proud to provide full container service and lift van services both to and from the USA with complete documentation, Professional packing, custom assistance, insurance, shipping services, storage and inland transportation. If you’re relocating your household in an overseas move, we’re here to help. International Sea & Air Shipping is an international removal company you can trust to simplify your move.

Smooth Sailing

“We could not have wished for a better service. ISAS is a very professional company. Not having done a move like this before, we were very much ‘in the dark’ of the whole procedure but from the get-go they lead us thru every step of the way. They also accommodated our every need without hesitation. Every phone call or email was answered immediately. It was a pleasure to watch the pickup crew go about their business. Having moved ourselves before domestically, I know what a hassle and hard work it is. They made it look SOOO easy! Not being on the “other side of the pond” to receive out goods, we had a relative meet the delivery crew – same thing, very professional service, keeping in touch every day as to the boat arriving, customs clearance and delivery schedule. In a nutshell, we would, absolutely without hesitation hire ISAS again. Thank you, thank you ISAS.”


– David