Pre-Shipment Checklist - Importing Cars To New Zealand

Before committing to purchasing or shipping your car, please ensure you have taken into account all of the below points. If you can’t provide one of these documents then please contact us to discuss before committing to purchase your car. As some of these are pre-requests to importing, and without them you can’t import your car.


Import Compliance

Whilst on road compliance is outside our service, we’ll gladly assist with introductions to reputable compliance centres. Contact us for more information.

First check the car you wish to import was manufactured to meet approved safety and emissions standards. This depends on the class of vehicle, date of manufacture and the country from which the vehicle is being imported. To find out more information please visit the New Zealand Transport Agency.

  • Note: Make sure you check your paperwork, and that the VIN, chassis and frame numbers are correct, as vehicles without correct paperwork may not be able to be registered.
  • You may need "ORIGINAL" documents to prove legal ownership such as previous registration papers.

In New Zealand you can import any car you wish without restriction, but it does not mean you will be able to drive it on New Zealand roads. For example you can import a classic car that is in no condition to drive, and just store, or have in your collection. If you wanted to drive that car on the road, then you would need to go through the Entry Certification process.

Taurus Logistics does NOT handle the on-road compliance, registration process or requirements and this is not included in our quote. We take NO responsibility for vehicles that do not comply with the safety and emissions requirements of New Zealand. As the owner of the vehicle it is your duty to ensure your vehicle is compliant.

Have you taken into account GST?

It depends on your criteria: is this a new purchase or something you class as a personal effect?
New purchase: GST of 15% is payable on the landed value, which is the value of the vehicle plus freight and insurance, otherwise known as the CIF price.
Personal Effects - GST Exemption: In some cases you may be exempt from paying GST, you will need to meet all the following conditions:

  • Be a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand citizen.
  • If a returning citizen, you must have been out of New Zealand for over 21 months.
  • Be prepared to sign a deed where you agree not to sell the vehicle for at least 2 years.
  • Vehicle must have been owned and used for last 12 months.
    • …and you must provide the following documents:
    • Proof of ownership over the last 12 months.
    • Purchase receipt for the vehicle or a current NZ valuation from a local dealer
You must be in New Zealand at the time of importation to be eligible for GST exemption

MPI / Quarantine requirements

You should aim to have your car in the cleanest possible condition. Best practice is to have the car thoroughly steam cleaned and vacuumed prior to shipment. There is no need to get it "detailed" but the goal is to remove all dirt and contamination inside and out. We can offer this as an additional service in some locations.

All used vehicles are inspected by MPI on arrival, and only after this inspection is the cleanliness condition known. Due to this we can’t quote the cleaning costs. But please allow NZ$100-200 as an estimated to cover potential cleaning, vacuuming and MPI re-inspection costs. Actual charge will be determined after inspection.

We recommend you downloading the MPI cleaning guide.
Download Cleaning Guide

Car Preparation

Your car must be in good running condition, and fully operational to be shipped RORO. Otherwise containerisation is the only option.
  • Vehicles leaking oil, water or petrol will not be loaded.
  • Fuel tanks must not be more than 25% full but not less than 10% empty. Fuel gauge must be working.
  • Vehicles which are not running (dead vehicles) will incur additional charges.
  • Before export de-registered and remove your plates from the vehicle.
  • Remove ALL personal items from your car.
    • When shipping on a RORO vessel, personal items must not be left in the vehicle or your vehicle may not be accepted on-board the vessel.
    • There is the option to load your car into a container which would allow you to also ship some personal belongings, but this is normally a more expensive option than RORO. Please contact us for a quotation.

Have you taken out Marine Insurance?

Not compulsory, but worth asking us for a quote. Your road insurance will not cover any damage that may occur while in transit. Taurus Logistics can arrange marine insurance on your behalf on ALL vehicles for 1% of the insured value, with a minimum premium of NZD250.00. Find out why you need Marine Insurance

  Marine Insurance is not included unless itemised on the quotation. Don't take the risk and get a Marine Insurance Quote online. Takes less than 30 seconds.
Marine Insurance Quote

Documentation Required

  • Bill of Sale
    • If purchasing the car we will need a copy of the Bill Of Sale (commercial invoice / Purchase Invoice) from the seller. If you already own the car, then we need a copy of the original purchase Bill of Sale.
    • If this has been misplaced, then you will need to obtain a "sight unseen" valuation from a car dealer.
  • Registration / Ownership papers
    • We will need a copy of the registration papers showing ownership.
    • Depending on the country of purchase (i.e. USA) the original ownership / Title papers are needed to export the origin country.
    • Do not have these sent to you, or altered, until our agent instructs the seller.
  • Photo ID, A high quality colour scan copy of the photo page from your passport.


If you have ticked off all of the above, then your car is ready to ship to New Zealand. Welcome home!

Taurus Logistics Ltd (Australia)
Level 1, 1 Queens Rd,
Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
ABN: 38 168 814 245
+61 3 8657 5563

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