NZ flouts low value imports


package, mail, fragile, boxNew Zealand authorities are tracking parcel cheats who don’t declare the correct value of the goods they’re sending to New Zealand.

Customs Minister, Maurice Williamson, says the senders try to get their goods in as express delivery low value imports.

In one case, electronic parts imported from the US were declared at $NZ326 ($A286) and discovered to have a value of $NZ24,304.

A Customs operation examined 2562 consignments and found 733 were above the low value threshold.

“High value goods are being misdescribed and under valued to speed up border clearance and evade duty,” Williamson said.

“A total of $158,000 in lost revenue has been collected as a result of this operation.”

The express delivery system is designed for clearing low value goods when revenue owed is less than $NZ60, and therefore is not collected.

“Everything from expensive electronics to aircraft parts is coming in under the guise of being low-value goods,” he said.

“The false declaration is usually made overseas at the point of dispatch and local freight companies submit this information to Customs,” adding NZ Customs is keeping a close watch.




  1. Avatar

    Jon posted on September 9, 2013

    This happens on a daily basis in Australia , why would anyone be surprised by this behavior. The first thing an overseas vendor asks when you buy something is "what do you want the declared value to be" reply

  2. Avatar

    Brad Coates posted on September 9, 2013

    Jon's absolutely correct....except I'd estimate it to be closer to a per minute basis! The only hope for Aussie/Kiwi Small Businesses in this "Brave New World" of Global online purchasing, is to be able to employ cheaper labour. We simply cannot afford to pay Australians (Those SAME Australians who buy online from Overseas) the wages Aussies expect as their right. Something's got to give and I'm picking it will be employment. Having one's own cake and eating too, is simply no longer an option:-) We've seen it in the building trade- one developer I know pays 20 Indian workers to come in on standard tourist visas, pays them $3 per hour and returns them in 3 weeks, having totally completed each townhouse development. He the just "loses" these costs in "General Expenses". An interesting concept and one which I personally both morally and ethically oppose. A concept, however, that is becoming more and more prevalent :-( reply

  3. Avatar

    Jon posted on September 10, 2013

    Following on from Brads comment, we have had several of our suppliers that are based in China, India and Philippines offer to send workers out with their products, with the agreement that the workers will be paid $4 per hour all airfares and accommodation to be paid by us and the workers will work 10-12 hours per day doing whatever we want them to do. Apparently this is a common thing now. Not only are we importing goods manufactured in other countries we are also getting other countries workers to come over and put things together at a 1/4 of Australian wages, allegedly. I know what you are going to say but this is illegal ......! going by information that i have received it is now common place and happening on a daily basis. reply

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