Exporting to New Zealand – everything you need to know

New Zealand is a rapidly expanding nation, with an economy that’s embraced a number of new sectors over the last decade or so – where its earnings were once dominated by farm products, namely wool, meat and dairy, it’s now supported by burgeoning tourism, film production and wine-making industries.

Trade between the UK and New Zealand is worth a healthy £1.1 billion a year, and the top UK exports to New Zealand include:

  • automotive
  • machinery and mechanical appliances
  • printing
  • pharmaceutical
  • food and beverage
  • optical medical and measuring equipment
  • electrical machinery and equipment

If you’re thinking of doing business on the other side of the world, here’s everything you need to know about exporting to New Zealand…

Where is New Zealand?

Sat in the southwestern Pacific, New Zealand is made up of two main islands, both of which are marked by volcanic and glacial activity.

Its capital, Wellington is on North Island, is over 11,500 miles from London, with regular flights departing from the UK.

The national language is English, the currency is the New Zealand dollar, and the dialling code is +64.

What are the pros and cons of exporting to New Zealand?

New Zealand is a lot like the UK in culture and climate, and so doing business over there is relatively straightforward in that respect and there are no real challenges to UK businesses.

The strengths of the New Zealand market include:

  • geographic position allows for easy access to Pacific Island market
  • opposite time zones allow for 24 hour working
  • small but developed market
  • strong Intellectual Property (IP) and regulatory systems

And the benefits to UK businesses exporting to New Zealand are:

  • similar legal and financial systems to the UK
  • excellent test market
  • English speaking
  • low corruption levels
  • stable political system

How does tax work in New Zealand?

The main tax rates in New Zealand are:

  • VAT – known as Good and Services Tax (GST), this is charged at 15%, and a reduced rate of 0% is applied to a number of goods and services.
  • Corporation tax – charged at 28%
  • Income tax – charged between 10.5% and 33%%, depending upon income. There is also a ‘no-notification rate’ of 48%.

How will I be affected by customs in New Zealand?

All goods imported into New Zealand for commercial or business reasons will be levied with customs duty, GST, and other applicable fees. You can find out more at the New Zealand Customs Service website.

You should also be aware that New Zealand has strict rules around what can be imported, not least because the increasing volume of trade and travel is placing pressure on the nation’s biosecurity system. You can find out more, here.

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