Importing a Car From Japan to New Zealand: Taxes, Duties & More

Looking for information on how to import a vehicle from Japan to New Zealand, or the larger Oceania, is quite easy because there is already a strong market established between these two countries. Here, we take a closer look at the taxes involved when importing from Japan to New Zealand as well as some tips for the overall import process.

Getting Started Importing from Japan

Importing to New Zealand begins with the Entry Certifier. You are advised to contact an entry certifier before you import your car so that you can have the car shipped to where that entry certifier is located. Remember, the entry certification is the same for vehicles imported for resale as well as those imported for use by the owner.

Cars Driving in New Zealand - BE FORWARD

In New Zealand vehicles drive on the left side of the road, and therefore the left hand drive vehicles have to be converted first. However, if the vehicle that you are importing is more than 20 years old, it may be exempt from this rule.

Import Tax on Cars Entering New Zealand

This is applicable to other items like boats, too. It simply means that if you are a returning citizen, resident or first time traveler to New Zealand and you have brought your car a long, you are allowed free entry. However, certain conditions have to be met first as they are laid out here.

Car Driving on the Road in New Zealand - BE FORWAR

If you do not qualify for the concessionary entry for motor cars, then you will have to pay the following amounts in duty:

– Cars and motorcycles are exempted from the tariff duty and are only going to be subjected to the goods and services tax (GST) of 15%. This tax is charged on all goods entering New Zealand from other countries.

Import Duty

The duty that you will pay on a car is going to be determined by the valuation of that car at entry. However, the normal valuation of the motor vehicle will be based on the price paid overseas for the same. That will also include the amount of money paid for insurance and the registration fees paid by the retailer.

Import to New Zealand - BE FORWARD

From this price, there will be a deduction for depreciation, if any is applicable, and any overseas duties for which a rebate has been provided. For the latter, proof will have to be shown.

Valuation Adjustments

Then there is the alternative valuation, which is applied by the NZTA when there is insufficient information supplied about how the vehicle was purchased. For example, if the vehicle was acquired as a gift, if the vehicle was bought at a very low price, if the vehicle has been modified therefore altering its original buying price and so forth, then alternative valuation will be used.

Hiring an Import Agent

When importing a car from Japan to New Zealand, most people prefer to engage the services of a dealer who will prepare the appropriate documentation for the car being imported and will arrange the shipping of the same to New Zealand. The costs for these services should also be included in the goods and services tax (GST).

Using Import Agent in New Zealand - BE FORWARD

It doesn’t matter whether you are importing the car for resale, to export it, or to break it into parts, because there are rules applied accordingly to all those. Given that ease and the low cost for used car import tax & duty, it is little wonder that Japan is the biggest vehicle exporter in New Zealand, and New Zealand is quite lenient on used cars.

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