Adventure Riding NZ

New Zealand's Adventure Riding community, free GPS track downloads, forums, and more!

GST threshold could be cut for imports – but is there a bigger issue?

Home Forums General Discussion News GST threshold could be cut for imports – but is there a bigger issue?

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #9416
    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: BMW R100GS

    Topics Created: 1,535
    Replies posted: 3,079

    Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    The value at which products imported into NZ incur GST is likely to be reduced from $400 to next to zero, which will affect any of us importing motorcycle bits from overseas. However I think most people are missing a potentially bigger issue here.

    GST on $400 is $60, on a $200 purchase $30. Depending on what you are buying this amount in itself is probably not enough to stop you going ahead with the purchase, either because it’s still significantly cheaper than purchasing the item in NZ, or in the case of most of what I buy overseas because I can’t actually buy the product in NZ.

    The bigger issue is that the point at which an overseas purchase attracts GST is also the point at which it attracts a lot of other fees.

    From the Customs Duty & GST on Imports Fact Sheet
    Based on the current limit of $400 earning $60 of GST.

    If the amount of duty you have to pay is over $60, or includes alcohol or tobacco products, you will have to pay an Import Entry Transaction Fee (IETF). The IETF is $29.26 (GST inclusive).
    In addition a biosecurity levy of $19.98 (GST inclusive) is collected by Customs on behalf of the Ministry for Primary Industries meaning you will pay a total of $49.24 plus any duty or GST.

    That’s $49.24 in extra fees, which you then also pay the GST on.
    So your $200 purchase (Including shipping charges) doesn’t just become $230 with GST, it actually becomes $249.24 which then has GST added of $37.39, adding up to a total of $286.63.

    So the extra GST in itself wouldn’t be a strong dis-incentive for people to not buy overseas but once you add the extra fees on it might be a different story.

    The threshold for paying GST on foreign products bought online could be cut to $20 or even zero, Prime Minister John Key says.

    Mr Key said that if New Zealand followed Australia’s lead in changing tax rules for imported goods, it was likely to set similar limits.

    Australia has the highest threshold for imported goods in the OECD, at A$1000.

    As online shopping continues to increase, the Australian Government is considering a lower limit of A$20 to raise revenue and protect local retailers.

    New Zealand’s limit is $400.

    The Prime Minister said Cabinet did not discuss the issue today, but Revenue Minister Todd McClay was expected to present a present a paper this month.

    New Zealand officials were working closely with their Australian counterparts on the issue.

    Mr Key said: “It’s quite clear from the statements they’ve been making that Australia is looking to reduce … the level at which you have to pay GST from $1000 down to $20 and maybe, potentially, to zero.”

    He said Government had not yet discussed what New Zealand’s new limit could be, but it would definitely have to be lowered.

    “Otherwise the gap is too large,” he said.

    “The balancing act for us is always between the Government trying to have a level playing field and not massive inconvenience for the consumer.”

    Asked whether New Zealand’s tax threshold would be similar to Australia’s, he said: “Yes, potentially. I can’t see why there would be a dramatic difference.

    “If Australia can get to a point where they can adequately complete the test of being fair but not dramatically inconveniencing consumers then we should be able to do the same.”

    Mr Key said it would be a challenge to make the tax system work.

    The OECD was working to develop a register of companies, which would include large multi-nationals such as Apple.

    “It’s pretty easy to get a company like Apple to register a worldwide because this is a global issue, and in the end those big global companies will,” Mr Key said.

    “The question is can you also deal … with a small company which sells T-shirts based in LA. That’s a very different issue.”


    Michael J Breen

    Topics Created: 5
    Replies posted: 61

    Rank: 400cc Rider

    and don’t forget that gst is payable on freight as well.

    James Riley

    Topics Created: 1
    Replies posted: 7

    Rank: 50cc Rider

    It may help get a better deal for the TPPA… ooops politicks run away screaming with hands in the air.

    Merlin Bela Wassilij Maertz

    Topics Created: 0
    Replies posted: 1

    Rank: 50cc Rider

    ArgghgH!!!……it’s not necessarily that things are cheaper over seas (which they generally are), it’s availability of particular items that makes off shore purchasing essential. I can’t believe this….. It’s already hard enough as it is fueling this two wheeled obsession we share! 🙂

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200

    Topics Created: 33
    Replies posted: 187

    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    There is also the issue of delays from when they tell you about the costs, while you stump up with the cash for the fees & charges, & then they finally get around to delivery. I often import because it’s faster than getting stuff here. This could have a major impact on speed of delivery.

    • Bike: 2010 R1200GSA, 2018 1090R

    Topics Created: 1
    Replies posted: 82

    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    So wait… Aussie had a $1000 threshold while we had a $400 threshold. Now Aussie will likely lower, so we’ll likely lower to match? Interesting logic (or bullshit) behind that reasoning.

    The problem is, customs fees I doubt will vary much, or they’ll be swamped by the work for tiny values of goods. The NZ suppliers bleat on about how they’re being cheated, but much of what I buy overseas isn’t available here. Occasionally it’s no stock, but often it simply isn’t available and partly because say, you can buy LED light systems here… but not *that* type with *those* features.

    Last year I wanted a fluoro yellow Nolan N104. Not available in NZ. Went all the way up to importer via my local bike shop, to be told we’re not bringing them in due to minimum order quantity of 6 per model in x size.

    It ain’t all the consumer’s fault.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.