Importing Guide

The Sneddens Guide to Importing Into NZ

Sneddens are New Zealand Freight Experts. We provide our customers with the best import service in New Zealand. We offer a door-to-door pickup and delivery service for all import and export cargo.

Sneddens are member of The GFP, a global network consisting of independent freight forwarders and logistics specialists covering all continents in 42 countries, with logistics facilities in over 50 cities worldwide.

Whatever your importing needs, Sneddens can meet them. Call us on 0800 76 33 33 for more information or request an instant free quote.

Importing into New Zealand is a simple process for most goods. It is important that the importer investigates the company they are purchasing the goods from, and that they appoint a good Customs Broker in New Zealand.

Terms of Trade

It is vital that your investigate and decide on your terms of trade, your payment and transport options, and find out if there are prohibitions and/or if permits are required.

You will need to discuss with the shipper (supplier) your terms of trade. The terms most extensively used are:

EXW: Ex-works – this is the price suppliers charge for goods taken directly from their factories. It does not include any cartage or delivery to the wharf or airport, or export documentation.

FOB: Free on Board – This includes the price charged for the goods plus the transportation of the goods to your nominated warehouse or port. The supplier pays for all the expenses of getting the goods to the port or wharf, and pays for the customs clearance, formalities and licences.

CFR: Cost and Freight – This is the same as FOB plus supplier pays for the freight.

GST: There is GST on all imported goods and duty on some goods. You require the services of a customs broker to determine the duties and taxes payable.

Restricted Items & Biosecurity

There are restricted items that require permits from various government agencies – click here for the official list from NZ Customs.

There are also goods that are prohibited or restricted.

New Zealand has a bio-security Service that keeps out diseases and unwanted pests. All containers imported to New Zealand are inspected at the time of unloading. The type of packaging used for all LCL, FCL and airfreight shipments are inspected. There are restrictions on the importation of food, animal products, plants and other similar items of this nature. Click here for more information from Biosecurity NZ.

Sneddens has the expertise to deal with restricted items and biosecurity.

Your Importing Options

There are many options available for the international transportation of goods purchased off shore. These include airfreight, sea freight, LCL (less that container load), FCL (full container load) and courier (door-to-door). Sneddens can arrange these options for you.


We recommend that you insure the goods using a reputable New Zealand company and that you request Free On Board terms wherever possible.


Be wary of companies that offer free or subsidised freight, as this usually means that you end up paying extensive extra charges in New Zealand.

Upon arrival in New Zealand there are often extra charges payable and by thinking you are saving on freight rates may in fact be false economy when you have to pay all the local charges. We recommend that you request a quote to your door so you do not get hit with hidden charges.

Trust The Experts

Sneddens are the best choice to help you with your importing needs. Call us on 0800 76 33 33 for more information, or request an instant free quote.

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