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5 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 108504 30-Aug-2012 13:19
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I bought 100 artificial flowers from a Chinese company to make myself a wedding bouquet. I had bought 100 because I wanted a variety of colours to choose from but now that I have a lot left over I thought I'd sell them on Trademe or Sella and buy some more to sell if they're popular.

I'd heard that you need to declare it to Customs if you buy them with the intention of selling them on, so I looked on the Customs site and it sounds like you have to pay 15% GST and also duty on anything you import. It looked like the duty fee is about $38 per import transaction. I only paid US$49 for the flowers in the first place!

Does anyone know anything about importing and the fees? It sounds like there's no point even trying to set a business in this country if the importing taxes cost as much as the product!

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Uber Geek
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  # 679247 30-Aug-2012 13:29
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Reading your post you have spoken about importing fees already,

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Uber Geek

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  # 679250 30-Aug-2012 13:31
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I had an import code and i never paid per transaction - just gst.



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Ultimate Geek

  # 679254 30-Aug-2012 13:37
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From memory, there is GST, duty and a customs import transaction fee.

The $38 is probably the customs import transaction fee which is a fixed charge. Depending on the classification of the product you are importing, there may be a duty as well which is calculated as a percentage of the value of the order. Then there is GST on the total.

If the total order value (including shipping) is below a certain threshold all fees are generally waived, but I don't know what your actual obligations are if you were importing commercially but with orders below the threshold. I think the threshold on the total order value is around $350NZ (or if the gst is less than $50.. I don't recall exactly).

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Uber Geek


  # 679262 30-Aug-2012 13:59
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Import clearance fee (~$38)
+ GST (15%)
+ Customs Duty (usually between 0% and 10% depending on class of items).

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Uber Geek


  # 679263 30-Aug-2012 14:04
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Yeah the clearance fee is hit and miss - I think it depends if they inspect the shipment or not.  We used to import a lot of gear (high value) and sometimes we'd get hit with the fee, sometimes not.

Anyway I shouldn't worry.  If they didn't collect it when the goods were on their way in then they won't come after you for it.

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Uber Geek


  # 679267 30-Aug-2012 14:13
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AllyWilly:  It sounds like there's no point even trying to set a business in this country if the importing taxes cost as much as the product!

Every country does this, importing into NZ is actually pretty straight forward compared to other countries.

The reverse of what you're doing is more expensive and way harder (export from NZ import into China).

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Wannabe Geek

  # 679271 30-Aug-2012 14:22
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Thanks for the info. I used to work for IRD so I know how terrifying and unforgiving the government is. If you get your taxes wrong they lock you in Room 101 and torture you.

I fully intend to pay INC tax on any flowers that I might sell, but the concept of a $38 clearance fee has taken me by surprise.


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Uber Geek


  # 679309 30-Aug-2012 15:38
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Your original intent was to use them for yourself. You are now looking to sell what is left over, that you didn't end up needing.

As the original intent was not to import and then on sell them, I don't believe you need to declare or pay anything.

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Wannabe Geek

# 680999 3-Sep-2012 18:25
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I checked with Customs and they informed me that if your order is under $60 then they don't bother to apply GST and duty to your order. So buying $49 worth of artificial flowers wouldn't be a problem.

The main reason I had brought up the topic was because when the mail lady handed over the package she joked that the neighbours will start talking about me (in reference to fact that it was the 4th parcel I had received from China since I'd also ordered some ribbon and other craft supplies before ordering the flowers). It hadn't occurred to me before her comment that there would be anything wrong with ordering a few craft supplies from China. I regularly buy shampoos and things from StrawberryNet (Hong Kong) and never thought anything of it.

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