What you need to know about exporting parcels to New Zealand

11 December, 2017

New Zealand’s economy was worth £140 billion in 2016. It is a country of 4.6 million people that is heavily reliant on international trade and a prime location for UK exporters thanks to the lack of language barrier.

New Zealand ranks first out of 189 economies when it comes to ease of doing business and its infrastructure and systems are perfectly geared towards making it simple for overseas brands to establish a presence in this small but developed market.

The UK and New Zealand have a special relationship

There are strong cultural ties between the two countries, as well as a shared language and similar financial and tax systems. The New Zealand market trades heavily with Australia, China, the United States and Japan but local consumers are particularly receptive to British products, which have a reputation for high quality.

Minimum product standards apply

If you’re exporting parcels to New Zealand then you must ensure that your products meet the minimum quality standards set by the Consumer Guarantees Act and the safety requirements in the Fair Trading Act.

Fees to pay

There may be a number of fees to pay for parcels that are shipped to customers in New Zealand. These include customs duties and Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is currently 15%. Duties and other applicable fees will depend on what you’re shipping – for example, there are separate tariffs for tobacco and animal products.

UK exports to New Zealand are worth over £1 billion

Cars, electronic goods, machinery and print products such as books are some of the top export categories between the two countries.

Prohibited or restricted imports

If you’re exporting parcels to New Zealand it’s worth familiarising yourself with the fairly extensive list of prohibited and restricted imports. This contains a very wide range of items, from hot water bottles and unroasted coffee through to bamboo furniture and wool.

Export licences

Although most products won’t need an export licence, it’s important to check whether your shipments do. If you’re handling chemicals or firearms, for example, you will usually be required to obtain the extra paperwork. Plus many of these products cannot be sent through mail or parcel services.


If you’re exporting to New Zealand it’s usually possible to zero rate most goods for VAT purposes, as the country is outside the EU. To do this you will need evidence that the item(s) left the EU and you’ll need to keep a record of the export in your VAT account.


Auckland is more than 11,000 miles from the UK and consumer flight times are roughly 24 hours. So, those exporting to New Zealand cannot offer super fast parcel delivery services, such as next day. Minimum delivery windows are usually around three days, with postal parcel services taking longer, but costing less. Consumers will often be happy to wait longer for delivery to save money, but not always, so give them a choice of options and let them decide at checkout.