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Moving To > New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand from the U.S.

If you are moving to New Zealand from the United States, there will be plenty to consider and prepare for before you head across the globe. The last thing you want to worry about is the logistics of a complicated move.

International Sea & Air Shipping will make your transition to New Zealand as seamless as possible by providing top-notch shipping services for all of your household goods, and much more.

How International Sea & Air can help for moving to New Zealand

To start, one of our trained moving specialists will provide a one-on-one consultation with you, thoroughly outlining your moving options based on certain criteria, such as:
  • Your moving timeline. When do you need to be in New Zealand?
  • Your real estate plans. Will you be renting or buying?
  • Your family/household size. Will you be moving alone or with your family? For business or personal reasons?
  • Cubic feet estimate. How large is your shipment?

What Will Moving to New Zealand Cost?

For an accurate estimate of your shipment size, you should schedule a home survey as early as possible for your move to New Zealand. Our moving specialists will assess your belongings to give you the best estimate possible to expedite your relocation. The cost of moving to New Zealand will vary considerably based on the cubic footage of your belongings and your proposed destination arrival time.

Don’t forget to ask about our overseas packing and custom crating services, too!

About New Zealand

Known as the small offshore neighbor of Australia, the two islands (North and South) that make up New Zealand are well loved for their lush landscapes and scenic views, which were immortalized in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Coming in at a size similar to Great Britain and Japan, New Zealand has roughly four million residents and as such is a gloriously uncrowded feast for the eyes. Whether you're looking to experience the majesty of glaciers, fiords, mountains, subtropical forests, sandy beaches or volcanic plateaus, New Zealand has an eyeful for you.

Can’t wait to get started with your overseas relocation to New Zealand? First, find out what you’ll need to clear Customs.

Custom Regulations for New Zealand:
  • Passport (original)
  • Residence Visa
  • Proof of Residence
  • Inventory, stating contents of cartons in detail (all items marked "PBO" - packed by owner and "misc." - miscellaneous are subject to inspection)
  • Customs Declaration (customer must be in country to complete the Customs Declaration form prior to their shipment’s arrival)
  • Proof of Employment
  • Proof of transfer of funds to New Zealand
  • Customer must be present in New Zealand at the time of Customs clearance to sign the Declaration of Contents
  • If shipments are forwarded to New Zealand prior to customer's arrival, Customs will require a Sight Entry
    • Customs will inspect the shipment and require a Customs duty deposit on the insured value, until customer can provide proof of entry to New Zealand, at which time the deposit will be refunded.
  • Fumigation of shipment may be required
    • Charges for this service will be for the Customer's account
  • Shipments may require inspection by Quarantine however, this requirement is only made known during the clearance procedure
    • Charges for this service will be for the Customer’s account

Some articles may have restricted quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in New Zealand. These items include, but are not limited to:
  • New items
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products
    • Allowed if listed as household contents or part of collector’s cellar
    • Duty and tax free for first time immigrants
  • Radio transmitting equipment may not comply with New Zealand radio frequency service
  • Firearms and ammunition strictly controlled, Police Permit is required
    • Must be packed separately, individually listed on the inventory, and stowed at the front of the container for easy access
    • Shipper must contact the New Zealand Police Department upon arrival to obtain permits
      • New Zealand Customs will not give clearance of the total shipment until documentation is received from the police
    • Small firearms/pistols are not permitted unless client will register them with a gun club
    • Semi-automatic military type firearms are not allowed
    • Arms Permit/Registration Certificate detailing make, model, and serial numbers are required
  • Agricultural regulations apply to the following items:
    • Food of any kind
    • Biological specimens
    • Plants or animals (alive or dead) or their products
    • Equipment used with animals
  • The following items must be thoroughly cleaned prior to importation:
    • Garden tools/implements, tents, vacuum cleaners, basketware, bicycles, outdoor sports equipment, feather, fur or skin products, etc. (all of which are closely inspected)
    • Bamboo, cane or rattan, regardless of origin will be inspected
      • Will only be fumigated if infected
    • Wood used for crating must be free of bark, insect and fungal attack.
      • Timber Certificate must be sent with documents
  • All items of agricultural, animal or food origin, or use must be clearly identified and loaded for easy access for inspection
    • Agricultural Inspection may take up to two days
    • May take an additional seven days if fumigation is required
  • If full container, quarantine inspection will take place at residence

In New Zealand, some articles may not be imported whatsoever. These items include, but may not be limited to:
  • Canned or dried meat, spices, honey, dairy and egg products or bee keeping equipment
  • Flick knives, swordsticks and knuckledusters
  • Drugs
  • Prescription medicine must be accompanied by a doctor's prescription and be carried in the original container
  • Pornographic material (subject to seizure)

Customers moving to New Zealand for the first time may import one vehicle (or motorcycle). The vehicle may be admitted into the country if:
  • The customer attends a Customs Clearance interview
    • This includes customers bringing in motorcycles and motor scooters
  • The vehicle has been owned for one year prior to departure to New Zealand
    • Said vehicle will not be sold for two years
    • Is for the Customer's own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way
  • Customer and spouse may each import one vehicle as long as each holds a valid driver’s license and can provide evidence of personal ownership and use of the vehicle
  • Vehicles must comply with New Zealand Ministry of Transport Vehicle Standard regulations
  • Restrictions apply to importation of left-hand drive vehicles
    • Before shipping you must obtain written approval to import from the Ministry of Transport
  • Loading vehicle in container with household goods is not advisable (any problems with release by Customs or Quarantine will delay delivery of both household goods and auto)
  • All vehicles must be steam cleaned and spotless before shipping (certificate required on arrival)
You will need the following documents:
  • Passport
  • The make, model, year and current value of the vehicle
  • Certificate of steam cleaning
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Original Bill of Sale (showing purchase price and date)
  • Insurance and Registration Certificate (to prove the length of ownership)
  • Log Book, service book or repair accounts (showing further proof of the length of ownership)

When importing a pet to New Zealand, the requirements are:
  • A Permit to Import (American Pit Bull Terriers are subject to a ban on importation)
  • A Model Veterinary Certificate and the accompanying tests and vaccines (approved by veterinary authority of the exporting country)
  • Identification microchip required by the International Standards Organisation (ISO)
  • Post-arrival inspection
  • Post-arrival quarantine
    • Required for a minimum of 10 days
    • Vaccinations required for quarantine:
      • Cats - feline panleukopenia (enteritis), feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus
      • Dogs - canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, canine parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
  • Imported dogs and cats may be subject to charges from Customs
  • Clothing and personal effects worn on your person into Customs
  • Used household goods (including furniture and electrical appliances) and personal effects are duty-free provided:
    • The customer intends to be a permanent resident
    • The customer has lived outside New Zealand for 21 months and has owned and used the goods prior to departure to New Zealand
    • Goods are for their own personal use
  • Heirlooms/historical objects or items that are passed down from generation to generation through a family are free of Customs duty and GST with suitable evidence)
    • Importation of household goods from deceased estates will be accepted free of duty provided a copy of the Death Certificate and Will are provided
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products will be duty/tax free basis if:
    • Listed as part of normal household contents
    • Listed as part of a collector's cellar
    • Client is a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand resident after 21 months overseas
  • New Zealand citizens will be required to pay Customs duty and tax on all vehicles imported as part of the Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Any person taking up permanent residence for the first time can import one vehicle exempt from needing an import license duty and GST free assuming:
    • The vehicle has been owned for at least one year before departure to New Zealand
    • It will not be sold for two years after arrival
    • It is for the Customer's own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way
  • Personal goods obtained overseas or purchased duty free in New Zealand (excluding alcohol and tobacco)
    • Cannot exceed more than NZ$700, if it does you may be eligible to pay Customs duty and GST
NOTE - Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1-866-788-1090

New Zealand

Motto : None, formerly Onward
Capital : Wellington
National Anthem : "God Defend New Zealand", "God Save the Queen"


Location : Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Area : Total : 266,838 sq km

Land : 262,443 sq km
Water : 4,395 sq km

Climate : Temperate with sharp regional contrasts


Nationality : New Zealander(s)
Population : 4,290,347 (July 2011 est.)
Major Cities : Auckland 1.36 million; WELLINGTON (capital) 391,000 (2009)
Languages : English 91.2% (official), Maori 3.9% (official), Samoan 2.1%, French 1.3%, Hindi 1.1%, Yue 1.1%, Northern Chinese 1%, Other 12.9%, New Zealand Sign Language (official)


GDP : $119.2 billion (2010 est.)
Exchange Rates : New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4015 (2010), 1.6002 (2009), 1.4151 (2008), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006)


Airports : 122 (2010)
Roadways : Total : 93,911 km
Waterways : N/A
Ports & Terminals : Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington


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