As of 1 December 2019, overseas businesses that sell low value goods to consumers in New Zealand may need to register for, collect and return goods and services tax (GST).
A low value good is a physical good valued at NZ$1,000 or less, excluding GST.
Examples of low value goods include:
- sporting equipment
- electronic items.
These changes apply to:
- overseas businesses that sell goods directly to New Zealand consumers online, by phone or mail order
- online marketplaces that merchants sell goods and services through
- redeliverers that offer mailbox redelivery
- personal shopping services from countries other than New Zealand.
These changes do not apply to:
- goods sold to New Zealand GST-registered businesses making business-related purchases with some exceptions
- supplies of fine metal
- alcohol and tobacco products where GST, excise taxes and customs duties are applied at the border regardless of value.
An overseas GST-registered business can choose to charge GST on a sale to a New Zealand GST-registered business if both of these apply:
- the value of the supply is NZ$1,000 or less
- in the 12 months after the sale, the business expects that more than 50% of all its sales to New Zealand customers will be made to non-GST registered customers.
Charging GST on high value goods
Distinguishing between low value goods (items individually having an estimated customs value of NZ$1,000 or less) and high value goods (items with an estimated customs value above NZ$1,000) may be difficult for suppliers.
Overseas businesses can choose to charge GST on goods valued above NZ$1,000 supplied to consumers in New Zealand if either:
- 75% or more of the total value of the goods consists of those individually valued at NZ$1,000 or less
- we have given them approval.
This is different from Australia where, if several goods total over A$1,000, the supplier can decide not to charge GST if they reasonably believe they will be imported in 1 consignment.
Find out more about the GST rules for low value goods. This factsheet is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese versions.