General Information

General Shipping Information

Importing your car to Australia can seem a daunting task, but not if McCullough does it for you.

  • With over 20 years’ experience shipping to Australia and from Australia every day, we have fine-tuned our processes so that importing cars to Australia is as easy as
    1-2-3 for our customers.
  • From collection to delivery, we pride ourselves in an unwavering quality of customer service and a personal and friendly approach.

Get your free shipping quote now.

We Want to Know All About You!

1. If you are a private individual

  • Are you relocating permanently or temporarily?

If you answered 'yes',simply fill in this Form, email or phone us on 09 303 0075

2. Personal Motor Vehicle Import

You may be wondering whether you will have to pay Customs charges on your vehicle, considering that it is privately owned.

You may indeed be eligible for an exemption In certain cases. For example, if your vehicle has been in your possession and in use for 12 months and you have been out of New Zealand for over 21 months, your car may qualify for zero GST.

To be exempt from GST, the requirements are as follows:

  • You must be in New Zealand and, if you have been living abroad for more than 21 months, you must hold a document proving your permanent right of residence in the country, valid as of the date you wish to import your vehicle.
  • You must have resided abroad permanently for 21 months before your return, with a reasonable allowance for holidays.
  • Your vehicle must have been in your possession and you must have been using it for no less than one year before the date of your return to New Zealand, or the date when your vehicle is shipped to New Zealand, whichever is the earlier.
  • Your vehicle is for your personal use and not intended for sale, as a gift or won’t be disposed of any other way
  • You are providing a Reference 80 Undertaking

New Zealand Customs Service is not at liberty to adapt these conditions, which must be met strictly and fully.

If they cannot be met, the vehicle concerned is considered a non-concessionary import for which Customs charges must be paid

Valid documents proving your right of residence are:

  • A valid New Zealand passport.
  • A valid Australian passport.
  • A valid Residence Visa or permit, or a valid Returning Resident’s Visa or permit for New Zealand.
  • A valid permanent Residence Visa or Returning Resident’s Visa from the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • A work visa or permit for New Zealand, valid for at least 12 months, including work visa or permit issued under the Long Term Business Visa/Permit category or under the Work to Residency policy (Skilled Migrant Category).
  • A Visitor’s Visa or permit for New Zealand, valid for at least 3 years.

Concession Reference 80 Undertaking

A Concession Reference 80 Undertaking is a written undertaking establishing that if goods, and in your case, your vehicle, is sold or disposed of within 24 months of it being imported to New Zealand, you will pay either:

  • The Customs charges that you would have been liable for at the date of importation under Part I of the Tariff if duty had been charged on your vehicle; or
  • Any other required amount.

Period of Ownership and Actual Use

To qualify for concessionary entry, you must have been using your vehicle for a minimum of 1 year before you left for New Zealand and it mustn’t have been shipped to New Zealand any earlier than a year from when it was delivered to you.

For example, a vehicle purchased and delivered to you by 1 January shouldn’t be shipped to New Zealand before 1 January the following year and you shouldn’t already be on your way to New Zealand before that date either.

A vehicle can still be eligible for concessionary entry even if its owner hasn’t been able to use it on a daily basis, as long as you can satisfy the New Zealand Customs Service that it was available for use at all times.

The important factor in this case is that if actual use was not continuous, it should still cover a period of 12 months

3. Personal Motor Vehicle Temporary Import

When are tourist vehicles eligible for free or paid entry into New Zealand?

Free entry:

Your vehicle may be exempt from Customs charges when you import it into New Zealand if you demonstrate that you intend to leave the country with it at the end of your trip.

To be eligible, you will need a Carnet de Passage en Douane (CPD) issued by AIT/FIA affiliated member clubs (such as the Automobile Association).

To download the CPD, click here.

A CPD is usually granted for up to 12 months although, in exceptional circumstances, Customs may agree to issue a once-only extension. However, it must be requested at least 4 weeks in advance from the relevant authority in your country of origin.

Paid entry:

If you don’t have a CPD (click here to download the form), you will have to pay a temporary import fee (by cash deposit or bond) of the value of the full Customs charges applicable.

This sum will be refunded to you as long as you export your vehicle back within a certain period of time.

A temporary import entry is usually issued for up to 12 months but may be extended further by Customs through a once-only extension, which must be requested before the original expiry date.

To arrange a motor vehicle’s entry,simply fill in this Form, email or phone us on 09 303 0075

4. Will I have to payNew Zealand’s Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

  • GST is due on all permanent motor vehicles imported into New Zealand, including:
  1. Offshore transactions.
  2. When the vehicle’s sales price already includes a local VAT or sales tax component.
  • The current GST rate is 15%. You can work out the amount of GST you will owe with the following formula: (purchase price + duty (if applicable) + freight costs + insurance) x 15%
  • The Customs value of imported, privately owned new and used vehicles is set in the provisions of the Second Schedule of the Customs and Excise Act 1996.
  • The Customs value is usually defined as the price paid or payable abroad for the vehicle by the importer, including vehicle registration fee and insurance premiums paid to the retailer, minus:
  • Any overseas taxes or duties included in the purchase price which have already been the object of a refund or a rebate prior to the vehicle’s arrival in New Zealand.
  • When the vehicle has been personally owned and used by the importer for more than 90 days before the vehicle arrived in New Zealand, an allowance for depreciation at the following rates:
Period of ownership and use overseas Depreciation deduction (%)
Less than 90 days 0
Between 3 and 4 months 13
Between 4 and 6 months 20
Between 6 and 9 months 27.5
Between 9 and 12 months 35
Between 1 year and 2 years 50
Between 2 and 3 years 60
Between 3 and 4 years 70
Over 4 years 75

If you would like to know more about GST charges, email or phone us on 09 303 0075

5. Which criteria does my motor vehicle need to meet to be cleared by MAF?

MAF will be checking your vehicle thoroughly for dirt, leaves, seeds and plant material in general, as well as mud, so you need to give your vehicle a good clean, inside and outside.

They will pay closer attention to commonly known problem areas such as:

  1. Leaves in the engine bay and grills
  2. Plant material and dirt in the boot and the spare tyre well
  3. Mud and dirt underneath the wheel arches.

If you want to find out more about MAF clearing criteria,simply fill in this Form, email or phone us on 09 303 0075

6. Will McCullough really make a difference?

Of course we would say yes! But don’t take our word for it, read the testimonials of our many happy customers!

If you need any more convincing, here are some very good reasons why you should trust us:

  • With an established 20-year-old business in New Zealand, no one ships and clears more cars through Customs and MAF than we do.
  • Come rain or shine, you are always a person to us, never a container number!
  • With offices 5 minutes away from Auckland Port, we are available from 7am to deal with any enquiries from transporters and tally clerks on the wharf.
  • Thanks to our strong relationships within the shipping industry and our high volumes, we can negotiate good prices for our clients and offer them first-class services at competitive rates.
  • We will compare maritime and air freight costs for you to give you the best price for sea shipping.
  • Unlike other businessesspecialised in shipping to Australia, we are not restricted to using a single shipping line, which means that we are free to shop around and offer our clients the best prices and options when importing cars to Australia.
  • With 2 decades’ experience, we understand better than anyone the issues involved in international shipping.
  • Our determination to constantly improve our methods knows no bound and we always aim for best practices, be it for shipping, delivering or managing administrative processes and documentation.

“Amazing. McCullough’s completely took charge and got all the paperwork and other requirements arranged and delivered. They rang me with regular updates. My Audi RS 5 Coupe arrived in perfect condition. I don’t believe that any other shipping company could touch McCullough’s level of personal service, standards and results.”

Max F – Mar 2011

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Top Tips

For Stress-Free Motor Vehicle

  • Have your vehicle checked before shipping
    to ascertain that it is allowed on Australian roads and complies with Australian standards.
  • Make sure the fuel tank is no more than a quarter full (or the vehicle can’t be shipped).
  • Treat your vehicle to a meticulous cleaning session, inside and outside, paying close attention to the engine bay, boot and underside, which are areas that the MAF specifically checks for mud and leaves in the grills.
  • Let us know in advance whether there will be any inner cargo, such as golf clubs, suitcases packed with clothes, etc…
  • If your car is taken over the equator, we strongly recommend that you use moisture absorbers to protect the driver and passenger seats from damage caused by excessive humidity.
  • In order to avoid bottoms scraping out, lower cars need special shipping equipment which is included in our service, such as:
  1. Flat bed trucks
  2. Special ramps to allow the vehicle to be loaded and unloaded without damage.
  • Consider marine insurance.
  1. We can arrange comprehensive policies covering your motor vehicle from collection to delivery at its final destination.
  2. We recommend that you take close-up photos of your vehicle inside and outside as they would be required should you need to make an insurance claim

“Southampton to Auckland – wharf to garage. 35 days. Hundreds of dollars saved from specialised advice on complying with NZ vehicle standards and MAF requirements. Frequent updates with photos, phone calls and personal inspections. Would defiantly recommend McCullough”.

Steve Vann – Mar 2011

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Our easy - 3 step shipping process

Advise pick-up location
Documents & shipping
Delivered to your door

Tell us the pick up location and we'll arrange a date & time

We handle all customs & shipping including insurance

Enjoy your toy, after it's delivered to your door anywhere in NZ.

Get Started

Get a free quote today

to find out costs and procedures involved in shipping your car from Australia to New Zealand.