Home Community General Travel The Departure Lounge (Off Topic) Items over $700 incoming – please explain

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    So we have no Apple Store in NZ and I bought a MacBook earlier in the year as my Toshiba was dying, and an iPad Pro recently (to save me buying a damn printer) and previously some jewellery.


    So it says on the arrivals card something about “are you bringing in >$700 worth of gifts” etc. On these 3 occasions I have and I didn’t claim the tax via TRS from Oz for the MacBook (also think I didn’t declare it).


    For the jewellery they just shrugged and let it go.

    For the iPad Pro they said “we’ll let it go this time” and also asked if I had used it already which I had! Naturally I rebox it up nicely for the TRS in Oz.


    I understand if I were to take the stuff back to Oz (which I do), then I’m supposed to repay tax or something? Of course I’m not going to own up to that!


    Anyone that can shed some light on this stuff? If I’ve been overseas and bought something for personal use then I don’t want to pay tax in the other country and get hammered on my return. Rather just pay it once if I have to.


    I don’t understand this $700 rule and what the consequences are. Stuff I bring in is for personal use!

    Paul Spain

    The $700 rule stops you from being allowed an unlimited GST/tax discount on goods carried into the country.

    That said, they’re usually fairly relaxed about it for purchases in the range $1,000 – $2,000. I do know someone who was bringing US$20,000 of tech hardware into the country that got stopped at the border and he didn’t have sufficient funds to pay the GST on the spot so had to come back to pick it up later.


    So 1-2,000 sounds good. But if you made purchases over this amount –

    – if you claim tax on departure from overseas you’ll still have to pay NZ taxes on return?

    – if you don’t claim taxes on departure from overseas does that mean you’ll avoid any NZ taxes on arrival?




    Steve Biddle

    You’re legally allowed to bring in $700 worth of goods as a personal concession before you need to pay GST and/or duty. It makes absolutely no difference whether this is for personal use or not.

    Jewellery, clothing and toiletries for personal use are exempt from this. Everything else including electronics should legally be declared and you will need to pay GST and/or duty on it.

    Whether you paid tax on goods in a foreign country is irrelevant.



    Thanks for the clarification on the tax bit. Now I know to get to the airport earlier to stand in those blimn TRS lines if I think I may get pinged on arrival! Prefer it if they’re closed and can just put the form in the dropbox. A lady told me you can do this online – seems like you still have to wait in line though but should make the process faster. I have no experience with this but here’s the website


    And there’s an app https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/tourist-refund-scheme/id910855751?mt=8

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