Moving to NZ, the farthest corner of the world, can seem pretty daunting. But as long as you have all the knowledge you need and the right professional help from people who know the ropes, you can concentrate on the exciting prospect of a new life in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Of course, emigrating to any new country has its own potential pitfalls, and shipping to New Zealand is no exception. For a start, how long is it going to take to ship your goods? For a Full Container Load, you should allow a door-to-door transit time of 6-8 weeks. A Shared Container Shipment – known as groupage – will almost certainly be cheaper, but will take longer, 10-12 weeks door-to-door.
Of course you will want to know what personal and household effects you can take with you, which ones you might have to pay duty or tax on, and which you cannot take with you when relocating to New Zealand. Basically, personal and household effects can be imported free of duty and/or tax in several circumstances; if you’re a first time migrant holding permanent residency status, a “work to residence” visa holder, hold a work permit for longer than 12 months or you’re a New Zealand resident returning from an overseas absence of more than 21 months.
The New Zealand Quarantine Service does not inspect all consignments, but will inspect certain consignments at random. In particular, caneware, rattanware and basketware may be required to be treated and fumigated, as well as any items that have been in contact with the soil or vegetation such as boots and shoes, garden tools and garden furniture, golf clubs or cricket bats and other sports or camping equipment including footwear, all of which may be required to be cleaned or fumigated.
If you’re planning to import a motor vehicle, then you can do so duty-free provided you’re a first-time immigrant with permanent residency status or a returning New Zealander who has been overseas for more than 21 months. However, duty is applicable on motor homes for non-qualifying migrants. To qualify for entry free of Goods and Services Tax (GST), you must have owned and used the vehicle overseas for at least 12 months prior to handing it in for shipment or your departure for relocation to New Zealand, whichever is the earlier. You cannot then sell or dispose of the vehicle within 2 years without paying the GST which would have applied.
For all other migrants and returning New Zealanders who have been overseas for less than 21 months, GST is payable at 12.5% of the vehicle’s CIF (purchase price, insurance and freight) value.
There may seem a lot to take in, just with clearing customs alone, but don’t worry, because your removals company will cover all of this. The important thing is to make sure the one you choose is reputable, and get them involved as early as possible. They know exactly what needs to be done, how and when. Look for a BAR Bonded company – it’s the international removals industry’s equivalent of ABTA or ATOL in the travel business, a sign that you’re covered.
At Robinsons, we are highly experienced in this field, and have a specialist dedicated international division on hand to advise you of everything you need to do, pack and fill in. We will appoint a dedicated Move Manager to you, who will look after your move from start to finish, right to your new New Zealand front door!
Robinsons International are members of FIDI and OMNI, international trade associations, which means that our overseas partners operate to the same high standards. It’s your reassurance that the quality of service provided in the UK is matched by that provided by the agent at the other end in New Zealand.
Whatever the particular demands of your move, it’s likely that we have come across them many times before! We’ve been asked most questions over the years, although there’s always something new. Our advice is, first make sure you get 2 or 3 quotes for removals, and make notes about each company you speak to, so you can be sure who promised what, and that you are comparing like with like. Check the volume and service quoted on, and be careful of the transit times quoted.
Some useful sources of information include:
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