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GST on Imported Goods and Services

GST on imported goods

Different from normal situation, GST on imported goods are levied and collected by New Zealand Customs service. The GST is imposed irrespective of whether the importer is a registered person.

GST is levied on goods entered or delivered for importation. The taxable amount is calculated on the total of:

·         The value of the goods for customer duty purposes

·         The amount of customs duty and tax (other than GST) payable, and

·         Insurance and freight costs in bringing the goods to New Zealand (if not included above).


The customer service does not levy GST where the imported goods have a value of $400 or less.

GST is not levied when a person exports goods and then subsequently bringS them back into New Zealand, if at the time of export, those goods were not zero-rated. However, if at the time of export, those goods were zero-rated, GST is levied on those goods when they are re-imported.

GST is not levied on the importation of ‘fine metal’.

Temporary imports

If the goods are brought into New Zealand for less than 12 months, such goods are treated as temporary imports. A deposit equal to the customs GST is paid and it will be refunded when the goods are exported within the 12-month period.  

GST on imported services

Services supplied by a non-resident supplier to New Zealand resident recipient are treated as a supply of services in New Zealand and therefore subject to GST if :

·         At least 5% (by value) of the supplies made by the recipient in a 12-month period are non-taxable; and

·         The supply of service would be taxable if the same service would be taxable if supplied in New Zealand.

A person who makes no taxable supplies in New Zealand, but who imports taxable services with a value of more than $60,000 in a 12-month period, will be required to register and pay GST on those services. It is called ‘reverse charge’ approach.