GST Rule Changes as at 1 December 2019

There are to be a few changes for those who buy books etc from overseas. These changes will take effect from 1 December 2019. Please note that if you are buying from a small business with a turnover of less than NZ$60,000 then there will be no GST charged. See the information from the IRD below:

On 26 June 2019, Parliament passed rule changes for GST. These changes mean overseas businesses supplying low-value goods to consumers in New Zealand must charge GST at the point of sale if they meet the GST registration requirements including a NZ$60,000 turnover threshold.

These changes apply to:

  • merchants (or retailers) who sell goods directly to New Zealand consumers (either online, by mail order or phone)
  • online marketplaces merchants sell goods and services through
  • re-deliverers that offer mailbox redelivery and personal shopping services from other countries.

The changes come into effect on 1 December 2019. This is two months later than the date proposed in draft legislation. The later date is to allow overseas businesses more time to update their systems.

What are low-value goods?
Low-value goods are physical goods valued at NZ$1,000 or less (excluding GST). They include books, clothing, cosmetics, shoes, sporting equipment and electronic items.

These changes do not apply to:

  • supplies of fine metal
  • alcohol and tobacco products – Customs will continue to apply GST, excise taxes and other duties at the border regardless of value.

Goods sold for more than NZ$1,000 will continue to be taxed by Customs at the border as they come into New Zealand.

What does this mean for New Zealand businesses buying goods?
Low-value goods sold by overseas suppliers and sent to GST-registered businesses in New Zealand, for use in their business (business-to-business supplies) are generally excluded from these rules. In limited circumstances, overseas suppliers may collect and return GST on these sales.

Overseas suppliers will charge GST to New Zealand GST-registered businesses unless you provide the supplier your GST number, New Zealand Business Number or inform them that you’re a GST-registered business.

If your business is not registered for GST or the goods are not for business use, then GST should apply.

If you import goods in a consignment valued above NZ$1,000
You’ll continue to pay GST and duty on these goods at the border. Processes will be put in place, so Customs does not collect GST on any goods already taxed at the point of sale by the supplier.

To prevent you being double taxed, suppliers must:

  • include tax information on import documentation, and
  • provide purchasers with a receipt that clearly shows the amount of GST charged.

More information

Visit our website for detailed guidance on these changes

If you have questions, you can email us at


Needing help for your home schooling journey:


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online: