Shipping from New Zealand to the USA

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The United States of America (USA) is the world’s largest economy, and it offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all sizes. From coast to coast, the USA is home to millions of consumers with a wide range of needs and preferences. This provides a unique opportunity for businesses to reach new customers. 

If you are a business owner in New Zealand who is looking to expand your market to include the USA, there are a few important things you need to know about shipping internationally such as customs allowances and other costs. To ensure a fast delivery of your goods, this article will discuss customs duties and the overall clearance process in America.

Shipping costs to America

Free-Trade Agreements (FTA) were signed to make the transit of goods and services between countries easier and to promote economic growth between nations. FTAs can provide specific countries with concessions or even exceptions to duties, taxes, and tariffs that would ordinarily have to be paid, making the import and export of countries more manageable.

However, do note that there are no existing FTAs or economic agreements between New Zealand and the USA that would allow for any concessions or reductions in taxes or duties paid. As such, imports from New Zealand to America would need to undergo the full shipping costs of any customs fees pertaining to the shipments in question.

Customs duties

Customs duties in the USA are determined by a specific manual called the Harmonised Tariff System (HTS). This system contains codes that link to duty rates for all types of imported items. Before shipping from New Zealand to the USA, you would have to determine the nature of your product by searching via the HTS and checking the customs duty rate that applies to it. The rate can vary from 0 to 37.5%, with the typical rate being 5.63%.

This rate does not work as a standard fee but rather as a percentage of the purchased value of your imported goods. After you have calculated the exact total sum of all the percentages pertaining to your shipment, you would have to pay the fee to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

That being said, under customs allowances in the USA, household and personal effects may be imported into the country for free if you only used them internationally for less than a year and if they are not for retail sale.

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In addition, a federal excise tax is charged on imports of alcoholic substances and tobacco and will have to be paid as such. Once you have paid all the charges pertaining to your shipment, you can then proceed with the customs clearance process in the USA.

Completed documentation needed for shipping to the USA 

As with exporting products out of New Zealand, importing products into the USA will require similar shipping documents. This includes the: 

  • Commercial invoice

  • Packing list

  • Bill of lading

  • Air waybill if necessary

  • Entry manifest

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documentation should your imported goods contain any of the listed ingredients or subsidiaries.

It is crucial to obtain all of the necessary documents before exporting your goods as incomplete or inaccurate paperwork can result in fines or shipping delays at customs.

Easy shipping to the USA from NZ with DHL Express

While it is possible to manage the shipping process on your own, working with a logistics partner who has experience with international shipments can be a valuable investment. As a trusted global delivery and logistics partner, DHL Express can provide assistance in navigating the complexities of customs clearance processes overseas and ensure your products arrive in the USA on time. Choose from a wide range of international shipping options to get your products to your customers and have access to our tracking system to know where your shipments are at all times. 

Open a DHL Express business account to start shipping from New Zealand to the USA today.