UPDATE: New Zealand introduces new legislation to amend the import GST exemption on low value imports

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The New Zealand government has announced that the introduction of the new legislation, to make changes to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules that apply to low value imports made by non-resident businesses shipping to consumers in the country, is postponed from 1 October 2019 to 1 December 2019.

Currently, the low value threshold in New Zealand allows all importers to purchase goods from non-resident companies without paying any GST or duties where:

• The combined value of duty, excise and GST calculated on the goods totals NZ$60 or less.
• The goods have no duty applicable and are valued up to an amount of NZ$400.00

However from 1 December 2019, the low value threshold will increase to $1,000 and in order to remove the unfair advantage that this will give to non-resident sellers over resident businesses, the NZ government will make non-resident businesses GST register and charge GST at 15%, if their combined low value import sales sold to non-GST registered businesses exceeds the registration threshold of NZ$60,000.

The above GST changes will not apply to excise goods (such as alcohol and tobacco) and supplies of fine metals, or to supplies made to GST registered businesses in the country.

The introduction of these GST rule changes follows Australia who introduced similar legislation on 1 July 2018.