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International Relocations

International Moving Guides

Shipping to New Zealand

Freightworks has compiled the following information to help you to understand what happens when moving to New Zealand, and to inform you of procedures once your shipment arrives at the destination port. Please try and take time to read the information and if you require further clarification of any of the points outlined below – please call us or our agents in New Zealand.

  • Air Freight Option
  • Arrival in New Zealand
  • MAF Clearance
  • Customs Regulations
  • Customs Clearance

Air Freight Option

New Zealand is one of our biggest air freight destinations, and because of number of consignments that we move we have been able to negotiate very competitive rates with the airlines. Air freight charges are based on weight. Our staff will weigh and measure your shipment on collection, and it will be charged on whichever is higher, the actual or volumetric weight. If your shipment is a small one – under about 35kg (approx. 80lbs) in weight, it may cost about the same, or even actually be cheaper depending on the destination, to send it door to door by air.

If you have such a shipment, and are considering sending it by air, just call us for a quotation. As well as the possibility of air freight being cheaper than sea freight for the smaller shipment, there is the benefit of a faster transit time – usually between 5 and 10 days to most New Zealand destinations. If you want to make a further saving, we offer another service to ‘arrival airport’ only. This means you can collect your shipment from the receiving agent. On this service to ‘arrival airport,’ there will be a fee for airline handling and unloading which must be paid to the destination agent when you collect your goods.

Arrival in New Zealand

Our computer system will automatically generate a shipping advice email which will be sent to the email address you supply us with, giving you the name of the vessel your shipment is on, the arrival date into the port, the destination agent and other important details. This notification is usually sent a week after the vessel sails.

Our destination agent will contact you before the vessel arrives and provide documents that you must complete for Customs and MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) clearance.

On arrival at the port of entry the container will be collected by our agent, hauled to their depot and unloaded into their Customs bonded store, where the shipments will undergo Customs and MAF clearance. Clearance normally takes 7-10 days, but this time frame can vary during the year. Deliveries to the main metropolitan areas usually take place between 7 and 14 days after clearance. Deliveries to other destinations take a bit longer, but our agents will contact you to make arrangements for a suitable delivery date.

MAF Clearance

New Zealand is free of many of the pests and animal or crop diseases which exist in some other countries. In order to ensure that this remains so, and to protect the livestock and agricultural industries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) must clear all goods entering the country.

With your arrival notification you will be sent a MAF Quarantine Declaration. You must fill this in, and on the basis of this form and your packing list or inventory, MAF will decide whether a physical examination is required or not. There are costs associated with this Quarantine clearance procedure, and the fees will be collected from all consignees by our New Zealand office.

The costs of the MAF Inspection Service are approximately NZ$75.00 for the smaller baggage consignments to approximately NZ$240.000 for larger consignments. Full Container Loads (FCL) are charged at approximately NZ$330.00 for a 20′ and NZ$480.00 for a 40′. This Quarantine clearance charge is not covered in any invoice you pay here unless you make a specific arrangement with us to prepay the charge in the UAE.

The MAF Inspection Service officers decide which shipments require physical examination based on the contents of the shipment as described on your packing list or inventory and Customs form. Please note that a fee is payable by all consignees for clearance entries and administration whether or not the shipment undergoes physical inspection. It should be noted that this fee does not include the costs of fumigation or steam-cleaning if either is deemed to be necessary.

Customs Regulations

It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are aware of how current Customs regulations and your own personal circumstances affect the status of your shipment with regard to whether or not you will be liable to pay any duty or taxes on your shipment or certain items in it. If a formal Customs entry has to be made, a fee may be charged for this. If you have dutiable goods in your shipment, you may be asked by Customs to supply documentary evidence (sales receipts, invoices, insurance papers, etc.) to ascertain your ownership of the goods, period of ownership, and their value.

The importation of fireworks, explosives, narcotic drugs, incitements, pistols and revolvers, pornographic material, products made from endangered species, flick knives, swordsticks and knuckle-dusters is prohibited. There are also restrictions on the importation of firearms (including air, gas, and starting pistols) and all weapons must be declared to Customs. Check the restrictions and permit requirements before shipping. Please note that all gas bottles for diving tanks, gas stoves and barbeques etc must be free of gas. Garden implements, outdoor furniture, golf clubs, tents, camping equipment, barbeques, shoes, bicycles, buggies/prams need to be cleaned thoroughly and be free of dirt, soil, grass, food etc. These items may attract attention from Quarantine and be order for cleaning. All dangerous goods are prohibited by sea and air shipments.

If you are importing a motor vehicle please contact us for further information.

Customs Clearance

Your shipment must be cleared through Customs before you can take delivery. In order to clear the shipment you will have to complete a packing list or inventory. If your shipment is an owner-packed shipment, we will supply you with a packing list form on which you list the goods in your shipment. If your shipment is a household relocation including professional packing, our packers will make an inventory for you at the time of the relocation.

You will also need to provide a copy of your passport photo page and visa page if applicable. We will then forward it these documents to our agent in New Zealand in advance of the vessel arriving at the port. Our agent in New Zealand will provide you with a Quarantine form and NZ customs form. You have to complete these forms and return them for them to present to the relevant clearing authorities.

It is very important that the customs form is completed by the owner of the goods and if goods are being sent by friend or relative they cannot complete the form on behalf of owner. If the owner of the goods is sending items care of then the owner must still complete their arrival details and nominee details on the customs forms. Please note that incorrectly completed, partially completed or unsigned forms will not be accepted for clearance.

Finally, please feel free to call us or our New Zealand agents if you require further advice on any aspect of your shipment. We are represented in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by carefully selected reputable agents.

All information on this sheet is given for guidance only, and although we believe it to be correct at the time of writing, we do not accept any liability for errors, omissions, inaccuracies or misinterpretation. All charges, regulations and procedures are liable to change without notice.