Getting Your Car Ready

There are quite a few details to cover with car shipping to New Zealand, whether it is a new vehicle or a car that has been in your possession for some time it is important that you are clear about all of the vehicular regulations covering the export of cars and the implications if any of the required procedures, or documentation, is amiss. If the proper processes are not observed you may at best incur some lengthy delays in the process, or at worst, suffer some additional expenses or financial penalties.

If the vehicle you are transporting is a new vehicle and is being shipped as part of a commercial process you should consult the UK Government Department of Business Innovations and Skills; guidelines for export of motor vehicles.

A full vehicle steam cleaning is required for all vehicles immediately prior to transportation. This should be carried out as close as possible to the time of departure. This will lower the possibility that MAF Bio-security might send it for cleaning on arrival. This can occur, even with relatively clean vehicles. It is important that all items within the vehicle are removed as nothing other than the vehicle itself can be cleared by the motor vehicle division. It is worth noting that you might be required for an interview with New Zealand Customs if you are deemed to be importing under the rules of concession.

In terms of documentation, you will be required to supply a certificate from the manufacturer of the vehicle which outlines its compliance for emission standards and frontal impact. This is a prerequisite for the registration of vehicles for use on roads in New Zealand and further information and details can be found on the New Zealand Transport Agency website.

It is essential that you have this documentation in place before you begin the process of shipping as you will not be given permission to ship your automobile until written confirmation from the entry certifiers has been obtained. There are a number of agencies that are approved by the New Zealand Transport Agency, from who you can acquire Entry Certification. These include The Automobile Association (AA). Vehicle Testing New Zealand, or Vehicle Inspection New Zealand.

Selecting a professional company who specialises in car shipping to New Zealand to handle the process is advisable as there a lot of factors involved. Managing it independently can be difficult and if you get something wrong it can be very costly. As with any transaction, the best advice is to shop around. If you are relocating to New Zealand consulting with your employers is a useful first step as they will probably be able to advise you on the best local company to use. If you are choosing the company yourself selecting one that has experience in handling transit of vehicles to your direct location is good advice as there may be additional pieces of local knowledge with regard to the haulage and delivery in New Zealand which can save time and money.

Regardless of whom you choose to handle the process it is also important that you have a clear overview of the required steps and documentation. This may help speed up the processes and ensure that you supply the company with all of the information and documentation that is required.

There are a number of documents which you are required to have ready for presentation to ensure that your vehicle can be cleared through customs. There is no point in beginning this process without these documents in place as the absence of any one of them is likely to stall the whole process and may result in a lengthy time delay and cause some costly additional expenses. In some cases, the absence of required documentation may result the whole process being halted completely and the vehicle being returned to the point of origin.

For the transit of the vehicle, you are required to provide• An Original purchase invoice• An Original Registration Certificate or original de-registration certificate• An Original compliance certificate from the vehicle manufacturer• An Original Passport

In terms of expenses, you will be liable to pay customs duty on the vehicle if you are not resident in New Zealand. You will be able to import the vehicle duty-free if you are importing the vehicle for personal use and provided that you have the necessary documentation in place authorising your residence in New Zealand on, or before, the day that the automobile has been imported.

In order to ensure that the car shipping to New Zealand process is completed satisfactorily there are some other pieces of evidence that you may be required to produce. These can be done with letters of evidence from landlords or employers and refer to the length of time that you have been using the vehicle before shipment to New Zealand. In addition to this evidence may be provided with the registration documentation and taxation documents which you will have for the automobile.

The technical requirements in terms of vehicle ownership are that the vehicle must be regarded in the personal use category. To satisfy this regulation, it is a requirement that you will have resided outside of New Zealand for 21 months. This stipulation is in place to prevent New Zealand nationals travelling abroad and purchasing cars for import without having to pay import duty. It is also a requirement that before shipping a car to New Zealand that the vehicle was owned and used by you for at least one calendar year.