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COVID-19 - Level 1 If you've been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to help. Find out more

Usually, a supply of goods is zero-rated for GST if the goods are exported by the supplier within 28 days of the time of supply or a longer period if granted. We realise many customers may not be able to meet the 28-day period to export goods at a zero rate.

The Commissioner already has discretion to extend the 28-day period. Normally an exporter or importer applies to us for the extension. However, customers affected by COVID-19 have a 3-month extension to this period for exporting their goods. They do not have to apply to us.

Extensions up to and including 31 July 2020

The 3-month extension starts on the day the 28-day period expires and applies to supplies of goods up to and including 31 July 2020. It will not apply for any supplies occurring after 31 July 2020.

Extensions for supplies occurring after 31 July 2020

Further extensions may be considered on a case by case basis by following the normal procedure. Contact us if you wish to apply for an extension beyond the 28-day period that is greater than 3 months.

Example: Application for an extension of greater than 3 months

Hema exports valuable artworks. Because of individual circumstances, meaning that export must be highly secure, Hema is advised that delays will be more significant for some valuable paintings she is exporting.

Hema contacts us and we agree that an extension for longer than 3 months is acceptable in this case. We grant Hema an extension of 6 months. Her 28-day period would have expired on 4 May 2020 but she is granted an extension to 4 November 2020.

Example: Automatic 3-month extension from expiry of 28 days

Joe owns a marine supplies business that exports overseas. Joe received notification that ports in China were closing and there would be significant delays. 

Joe’s 28-day time frame for exporting sails to a Chinese business expired on 2 April 2020. Without needing to apply to the Commissioner, Joe has an extension to 2 July 2020.

Example: Automatic 3-month extension from time of supply

Tim makes and exports toys to order. On 20 March 2020, prior to the lockdown, the time of supply was triggered for an export to the US. Tim does not run an essential service and he is unable to access his factory to make the toys for the export order.

Because of the delay in manufacturing, Tim is unable to export the toys within the 28-day period. Without needing to apply to Inland Revenue, Tim has an extension to 20 June 2020.

Example: No automatic extension if not impacted by COVID-19

Mary works from home making and exporting hand-made musical instruments. In her situation and for her particular exports she has not been affected by COVID-19 delays.

Mary is not entitled to a 3 month extension without applying to Inland Revenue. She needs to apply for an extension if there are any other circumstances beyond her control or reasons why it is not practical for her to export her hand-made musical instruments within 28 days.