Exporting to New Zealand

Taxes, duty and legal considerations when exporting to New Zealand

There are a lot of things to consider before you start exporting to New Zealand.

It's essential to find out about local rules and regulations on tax and duty in your intended market.

Start-up considerations

New Zealand’s business-friendly taxation system supports:

  • capital development
  • research and development
  • international investment

There are three commonly used business structures in New Zealand:

  • sole trader
  • partnership
  • Limited Liability Company

You must register with the Companies Office. Overseas companies can operate in New Zealand as a subsidiary, branch or become a New Zealand company.

It takes just one day to incorporate a business in New Zealand.

Find out more about starting, managing and growing your business in New Zealand.

Legal considerations

All legislation relating to the conduct of business and the operation of companies is enacted by New Zealand’s parliament and administered by government agencies.

See New Zealand legislation.

For advice on legal issues, the New Zealand Law Society provides details of local lawyers.

Standards and technical regulations

All products sold in New Zealand must be safe. There are two key laws that deal with product safety:

  • the Consumer Guarantees Act, which gives minimum standards of quality for goods and services
  • the Fair Trading Act, which promotes product safety

Importers must ensure products meet the minimum standards for the products to be allowed to enter the country.

Check the required standards.

Intellectual property (IP)

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is the government agency responsible for granting and registering intellectual property.

Copyright protection automatically applies in New Zealand from the date of creation. Patents and trademarks only provide protection within New Zealand.

Read more about protecting your intellectual property overseas.

Goods and services tax

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on most goods and services in New Zealand. The current GST rate is 15 per cent.

Company tax

The company tax rate is 28 per cent. For more information visit Inland Revenue.

Individual income tax

Different types of individual income can include:

  • salary or wages
  • pensions
  • dividends
  • rental income
  • interest received

If you are not a New Zealand resident you will need to work out your tax residency status so you can find out your individual income tax rate.

When selling internationally there are different VAT rules depending on whether you are buying or selling goods or services within or outside the EU. Use our VAT rules when selling internationally tool.


All goods imported into New Zealand for business or commercial purposes are liable for Customs duty, GST and other applicable fees. Indicative rates can be found in the Working Tariff Document of New Zealand.

You can find more about import tariffs in the Market Access Database.