Overseas Shopping Changes
STOP THE PRESSES. There’s a change afoot for paying customs, duties, and GST on goods ordered from internet shops overseas. I have mixed emotions on the changes, but first, a review:
Now until November 30, 2019, the GST/duties are waived if they are under NZ$60. After that, you get charged an arm and a leg for customs and duties on all goods. I learned about this the hard, painful way a few months ago.
From December 1, 2019 onward, there will be a couple of changes that you can read about here. First, ALL goods coming into the country will be charged 15% GST - the same amount that is charged in stores here in New Zealand. The company making the sale is supposed to include that in its sale price, but only on the goods themselves - not on shipping and handling fees. Secondly, customs and duties will only be charged on orders over NZ$1000.
This means that orders under NZ$400 will cost a little more, but orders from NZ$400 to NZ$1000 will cost less overall.
I’m concerned that overseas companies won’t register as an entity with the New Zealand government and therefore the options for buying goods overseas will decrease dramatically and/or force us to use overpriced and lengthly shipping options like YouShop, which was kind enough to send me an email outlining how they will add the 15% GST to orders coming in after December 1. Guidance for companies state that they must register if they have sold NZ$60,000 worth of goods into New Zealand in the past year or plan to in the future year. Registration does not appear to be open yet, so there is no way to know which companies have registered and which haven’t, which is a little stressful. Will all of my shopping options still be available?
The plus side to all of this is that I’ll be able to order more expensive goods without getting slapped with customs and duties. I might have a shoe obsession that needs feeding.
What are your thoughts on the GST changes? Will it affect your online shopping habits or encourage you to take more shopping trips overseas?