A merchant is any seller of goods. Non-resident merchants are responsible for any GST that applies to the sale if they:
- sell low value goods which are imported into New Zealand by a consumer
- help get the goods to New Zealand either by sending them to New Zealand or by arranging for someone else to deliver them.
However, a non-resident is not responsible for GST on a sale of low-value goods if the sale is made through either:
- an online marketplace responsible for collecting GST on the sale
- a non-electronic marketplace with our approval to collect GST on low value goods on behalf of overseas merchants.
When you need to charge GST
If you sell the goods directly, for example, through your own website and you are registered or required to be registered for GST, you should charge GST on these sales unless they are not subject to GST under New Zealand law. This would be the case if the goods are fine metal. That is, gold with a fineness of at least 99.5%, silver with a fineness of at least 99.9% or platinum with a fineness of at least 99.0%.
If the amount paid includes fees for shipping or insurance, these amounts form part of the price of the goods when calculating the GST.
All Co is a merchant in China that sells electronics products imported by consumers into New Zealand. It meets the NZ$60,000 threshold to register for GST.
On 1 July 2018, Victor buys a wireless headset from All Co. All Co arranges for the item to be shipped to New Zealand. On its website, All Co displays a price including GST when it becomes aware that GST will apply.
All Co charges Victor NZ$126.50. They return GST of NZ$16.50 on the sale to Inland Revenue in their GST return.