NZ Customs have a feature on their website called “What’s my duty?”. It’s a great tool for calculating how much GST and other charges you might be up for when you buy stuff on line.
Here it is: http://www.whatsmyduty.org.nz/
The calculator isn’t intended to be a final assessment of exactly how much you’ll have to pay. However I still recommend having a look at it. A few dollars difference in price can really affect how much you have to pay and you may find the extra charges on some items that cost just $230 make them a lot more expensive.
For example, a camera bought for just under $400 is unlikely to incur additional charges when it comes into New Zealand. But, if the camera costs $405 the additional charges could be as much as $106! That’s because you get charged GST plus a $46 transaction fee.
If you’ve bought an item of menswear for $220 you probably won’t incur any additional import charges. But if the same item costs you $230 you could end up paying an extra $107 to Customs (duty $23 + GST $38 + fees $46).
So, it pays to check.
Add to that the extra form filling you might have to do and buying from overseas can get complicated.
For example, if you’re importing a car you have to provide documentary proof it meets NZ standards for emissions, frontal impact requirements, fuel consumption, braking and a whole lot of other aspects depending on where the car comes from and how old it is. You have to pass an entry certification inspection, bio security and customs checks.
Then there are the registration fees and greenhouse gas levies, plus the GST of course.
Plenty to think about.