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All about shipping parcels to Australia from New Zealand

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Shipping parcels to Australia from New Zealand is a relatively straightforward process, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth delivery. We provide a basic breakdown on how to navigate the various customs’ rules and regulations regarding the shipping of goods from New Zealand to Australia.

Prohibited or restricted goods in Australia

The most important factor to consider when shipping goods to Australia from NZ is whether they are prohibited or restricted

Prohibited items in Australia include:

  • Animals and plants; 

  • Asbestos; 

  • Certain consumer products;

  • Defence and strategic goods;

  • Drugs;

  • Medicines and therapeutic substances;

  • Firearms;

  • Hazardous goods;

  • Intellectual property and cultural items;

  • Tobacco, and 

  • Weapons

However, certain goods such as tobacco can be imported with written permission. Your receiver in Australia will need to produce a permit or approval in order for Australia’s border officers to release the prohibited or restricted goods. 

For companies shipping liquid products, it is also important to take note of the strict requirements when it comes to international liquid shipping.

Australian duties, taxes, tariffs, and exemptions 

Other than being aware of the list of prohibited and restricted items, the shipper must be familiar with the various duties, taxes, tariffs, and exemptions that may apply when exporting items to Australia from New Zealand.

  • Duties: Typically levied on imported goods based on the value of the item.

  • Taxes: Imposed on certain items based on their weight or volume. 

  • Tariffs: Also applied to certain items.

Free Trade Agreements and partnerships between Australia and New Zealand

Before going into details on the various Australian customs fees that may have to be paid, it is important to note that New Zealand and Australia are currently in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) known as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). 

The AANZFTA provides tariff and cost reductions for all parties involved. All tariffs pertaining to imported goods are free, with a list of exceptions that mostly include tobacco, alcohol, and gasoline. However, the Australian Border Force (ABF) does still apply an import processing charge on goods worth more than AU$1,000 as well as the Goods Service Tax (GST) on imported goods.

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Documents to prepare when shipping from NZ to Australia

Despite the various concessions and reductions in taxes and tariffs in sending a parcel from New Zealand to Australia, there are still a number of documents needed to expedite the process between the two countries. 

If your imported product has a value of more than AU$1,000, you must complete an import declaration form, detailing the nature of your business, your goods, the mode of transport being used, and the tariffs and customs duties applicable. 

For air and sea freight, a B650 form is necessary. Meanwhile, a B374 form is used for imported goods through international mail.

Should your shipment be sent via air or sea freight, you must lodge a Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) declaration, of which there are three differing types. 

  • A cargo report SAC form is responsible for reporting cargo to the ABF, 

  • A short format SAC pertaining to goods with a value of less than AU$1000, and 

  • A long format SAC that works similarly to an Import Declaration form but without the import processing charge.

If you intend to store your goods in a warehouse, you will need to submit a B368 Warehouse Declaration document, with the one exception being tobacco.

Lastly, when submitting your Import Declaration and Warehouse Declaration documents, you will need to bring all the relevant export documents that you have readied for the New Zealand customs service. This includes the following:

  • Bill of lading

  • Air waybill

  • Commercial invoices

  • Identity evidence

  • Government-issued permits for the export of your goods 

  • Any other relevant documentation referring to the export of your goods out of New Zealand and into Australia

If any of the documents are missing, it may cause shipping delays and inconvenience to your customers. 

Start shipping to Australia with DHL Express

Just like that, your export of goods to Australia is complete. Whether you’re shipping luxury cars or sending simple parcels to Australia from New Zealand, it is definitely easier and more affordable due to the various trade agreements between the two countries.

However, taking note and complying with all the rules and preparing the documents for Australia's customs clearance can be troublesome, especially for businesses that are frequently engaging in cross-border trading. This is why we recommend partnering up with a third-party delivery partner like DHL Express to handle your goods that are shipped from New Zealand to Australia.

Open a DHL Express business account to easily export your products from New Zealand to Australia today.