GST incoming for all online orders on 1 December 2019.

Just a PSA that GST is incoming for all online purchases below $400 on December 1. GST will be paid by the retailer, which will pass onto you at checkout.

If you got some important shopping done, do it soon.



    I get how it's going to be possible with the big guys. But not sure how the smaller overseas retailers will handle this. I suspect they wont, at least to start with.

    • +4 votes

      Like with NZ-based business, GST only has to be charged if the business is earning over a certain amount (I forget what that amount is, but something like $6000 per month). That means small businesses or those only selling a small numbers here won't need to bother, but there will be many others who won't know or simply won't bother.

      Of course, this silliness won't actually change the fact that prices here in New Zealand are over-inflated by greedy retailers (partly also caused by greedy landlords charging too much rent), and it will still be cheaper to buy from overseas.


        does it mean even if I shop on Aliexpress, I can choose the store that doesn't have much sale revenue then I won't be charge GST ?


          If you buy anything on AliExpress then you probably won't be charged anyway - it's Chinese, so they'll simply ignore the new law. ;-)

          I don't know what happens with AliExpress, Amazon, TradeMe when it comes to all the tiny re-sellers that use such sites. Possibly the host webstore will simply leave it up to the individual re-sellers since they're the ones making the actual sales.


            @BuzzBumble: AliExpress, Amazon and Trademe will have to collect the GST and pass it onto the government.

            "NZ Customs’ group manager for revenue and assurance, Richard Bargh, says a law change coming on December 1 will force marketplaces like Trade Me to take more responsibility. The so-called 'Amazon tax' will make online platforms responsible for collecting GST on all imported goods worth up to $1000. This means Trade Me will need systems in place to keep track of sellers on its platform."

            • +1 vote

              @Stoic: Yet more proof that the ancient dinosaurs in government simply don't have any clue about how the internet and internet-based companies work, let alone how modern worldwide companies work. They're simply blinded by $$ signs for all the extra cash they think they're going to rake into their own pockets for their continual salary increases, 'perks', and useless pet projects. :-\

              How can you charge a hosting company GST when they aren't providing the actual product to the customer?? It simply means TradeMe will idiotically have to raise the price on everything, including the commission they charge sellers.

          • +2 votes

            @BuzzBumble: AliExpress already collects GST for Australian purchases. :(


    There is of course a way around it. Simply use NZ Post's overseas forwarding service or similar to have the items shipped to an address within the country of purchase (so no GST added by the webstore) and then forwarded to you by the service … but you might end up paying the country's own sales tax, which may be more than GST. For example, the UK's VAT is 20% on most items.


      What does this mean to me if I’m using YouShop?

      If you’re buying from overseas retailers and shipping to your YouShop address, the retailer will not charge GST at the point of purchase (as they will not be aware that the items’ final destination is NZ). Instead, NZ Post will collect the GST on all purchases (irrespective of value) on behalf of the New Zealand Government, when you pay for your shipping to NZ through YouShop.

      If the value of your consignment* is over $1,000 then Customs may also collect duty (and GST on the amount of that duty) at the border.


        The only GST NZ Post can charge is for the postage for the forwarding of the parcel. They won't and can't charge anything on the individual item's purchase price. So using YouShop or similar (including friends and relatives overseas) will mean no GST can be added to the purchase price by the retailer.

        Customs also won't be checking every single parcel coming in. Even if they did, there's no way to know if GST has been charged or not, unless they're changing the Customs form the sender has to put on parcels.

        You may of course have to pay more in shipping, since it's being shipped twice - once to the country's local address and then forwarded to your New Zealand address. (Places like BookDepository that have free shipping will mean only the one shipping charge.)

        Whether it's worth all that hassle to save 15% is a different matter and will depend on numerous factors - for small value items, the extra shipping charge will probably be more than the GST anyway.

        If your purchases are over the preset limit, then you will still have to pay duty, etc., but you already have to do that now. This topic is about the new GST law coming into effect soon which is charged by the overseas retailers, so has nothing to do with NZ Post or Customs. In fact, on these high value parcels you could be charged a second lot of GST by Customs if you can't prove that the retailer has already charged it!


          NZPost/Youshop have been sending emails out saying they'll be collecting GST on the goods. So you'll have to pay for GST and shipping before they send the goods.

          moxpearl's comment is a copy/paste from the email.

          The government doesn't care if you were charged GST in the country you bought it from. That money doesn't come to them. If even you were charged GST by ,say, the UK (VAT) then they will still charge GST.


            @Stoic: It should have said it was a quote. I don't use YouShop, so could only work from a common sense viewpoint - since NZ Post aren't selling you the actual product, they should not legally be allowed to charge GST for it. It's an iffy decision that could land them in court if someone felt the desire to bother, but no doubt the Government has already passed the law to allow them to do so. NZ Customs on the other hand could get away with it.


          Sorry BuzzBumble but Moxpearl and Stoic are right,
          NZ Post have said that as youshop shipped items wont have GST paid already (as item has been shipped locally in the respective country) they will add GST to the cost of the goods and the cost of shipping the goods.
          NZ Post is government owned so cant really circumvent the rules via youshop. Other overseas based forwarders are fair game.