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Topic # 133443 22-Oct-2013 17:33
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I'm currently in San Francisco on a business trip, and have been buying lots of gifts for my family (primarily clothing, footwear, jewellery, confectionary, and cheap & tacky SF flavoured souvenirs). Looking at what I have so far, I think I'm sailing dangerously close to the NZD $700 threshold you need to declare. I note from the NZ Customs website that there is a NZD $110 concession for gifts, but does anyone know whether this concession applies to individual gifts, or the total value of all gifts for a given person?

Also, are Customs officials sticking to the letter of the law these days when calculating and collecting customs duties and GST, or are they pretty lenient when it comes to bringing back gifts for family and friends?

I'm also wondering whether its worthwhile bringing in a new iPad (assuming they are actually announced and released tomorrow), but this would definitely push me above the threshold. Would doing this bring me under more scrutiny from NZ Customs? If I opened it and/or used it first, would they be less interested in it? Or is this a tactic that is so common these days that they would see through in a heartbeat?

Any additional thoughts/comments/tips gratefully received.


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  Reply # 919817 22-Oct-2013 17:35
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I wouldn't worry in the slightest honestly. If you are bringing in tens of thousands you might get pinged. 



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  Reply # 919829 22-Oct-2013 17:48
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networkn: I wouldn't worry in the slightest honestly. If you are bringing in tens of thousands you might get pinged. 


Well, the reason I'm worried is that their estimator site currently has my total amount due sitting at around $220, and that's with conservative purchase prices entered (e.g. USD $55 for the USD $110 custom made Converse, 'cos thats the RRP on the box ;-)). And thats without adding an iPad (which adds an additional $110 in charges).

All of these purchases are gifts for family members, but everyone is getting gifts totalling more than the NZD$110 gift allowance. But there is only one individual gift that costs more than that (approx. NZD $160). This is why I'm wondering whether this allowance is per gift, or per recipient. I would suspect its the latter, but am hoping its the former.

I still have some more gift purchases planned (approx. USD $150), but I'm starting to wonder if I can afford to do that. :-O



 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 919837 22-Oct-2013 18:18
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I wouldn't worry, open the iPad and use it for a bit, don't take the packaging if you are concerned.  I can't see how they can know if you left the country with it or not (they are unlikely to realise it is the new model and not available here).  I haven't had a problem with new DSLR cameras. 

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  Reply # 919838 22-Oct-2013 18:24
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David,

My wife and I have brought heaps of clothes back from the USA several times ... simply remove pricing labels and it's personal goods. As for hardware, I bought my daughter a laptop and simply unpacked and used it, then carried it as personal items.

I don't think anyone declares stuff as "gifts" ... that way lies madness .

R.

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  Reply # 919841 22-Oct-2013 18:33
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and if, by chance, you do get asked why you didn't declare you can say your good friends on geekzone advised that you didn't need to. :)




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  Reply # 920006 22-Oct-2013 21:39
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We came back from a trip to the State about this time last year and we brought back a huge amount of stuff, including a lot of gifts and art works. Customs didn't bat an eyelid as most of it individually were not expensive items and we weren't bringing back quantity of any 1 item. Surprised me as I was expecting to get pinged.

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  Reply # 920017 22-Oct-2013 22:04
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dclegg: I'm currently in San Francisco on a business trip, and have been buying lots of gifts for my family (primarily clothing, footwear, jewellery, confectionary, and cheap & tacky SF flavoured souvenirs). Looking at what I have so far, I think I'm sailing dangerously close to the NZD $700 threshold you need to declare. I note from the NZ Customs website that there is a NZD $110 concession for gifts, but does anyone know whether this concession applies to individual gifts, or the total value of all gifts for a given person?

Also, are Customs officials sticking to the letter of the law these days when calculating and collecting customs duties and GST, or are they pretty lenient when it comes to bringing back gifts for family and friends?

I'm also wondering whether its worthwhile bringing in a new iPad (assuming they are actually announced and released tomorrow), but this would definitely push me above the threshold. Would doing this bring me under more scrutiny from NZ Customs? If I opened it and/or used it first, would they be less interested in it? Or is this a tactic that is so common these days that they would see through in a heartbeat?

Any additional thoughts/comments/tips gratefully received.



I wouldn't bring back a new ipad -- even if you do avoid gst on it, you will not save all that much and lose protection under the CGA.   



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  Reply # 920020 22-Oct-2013 22:06
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Rickles: David,

My wife and I have brought heaps of clothes back from the USA several times ... simply remove pricing labels and it's personal goods. As for hardware, I bought my daughter a laptop and simply unpacked and used it, then carried it as personal items.

I don't think anyone declares stuff as "gifts" ... that way lies madness .

R.


I bought a laptop from the US and declared it..they pinged me the gst.  

But, it added nearly an hour to my Auckland airport customs clearance....they didn't exactly seem like they knew the proper procedure... felt strange, noone else on the entire flight declared anything so I guess people don't generally do so.

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  Reply # 920032 22-Oct-2013 22:18
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keewee01: We came back from a trip to the State about this time last year and we brought back a huge amount of stuff, including a lot of gifts and art works. Customs didn't bat an eyelid as most of it individually were not expensive items and we weren't bringing back quantity of any 1 item. Surprised me as I was expecting to get pinged.


We came back with 125KG of stuff between two of us, most of which was purchased overseas, didn't have a single problem. Was all personal stuff at the end of the day, clothes etc, replaced due to theft. 




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  Reply # 920065 23-Oct-2013 04:38
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surfisup1000: 
I wouldn't bring back a new ipad -- even if you do avoid gst on it, you will not save all that much and lose protection under the CGA.   


That is a valid point about CGA protection, and the savings is around $76, once you factor in the exchange rate and CA sales tax. If they're released in NZ at the same time, perhaps I'll just order one from the online Apple store. Would also take the heat off my other purchases, as I could convincingly innocently claim they're under $700.



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  Reply # 920066 23-Oct-2013 04:39
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jeffnz: and if, by chance, you do get asked why you didn't declare you can say your good friends on geekzone advised that you didn't need to. :)


I'll mention you personally by name. Got some up to date contact details I can give them? :-)

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  Reply # 920067 23-Oct-2013 05:29
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You could always stick a few items in the post.



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  Reply # 920068 23-Oct-2013 05:44
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jpoc: You could always stick a few items in the post.


That is an idea, I guess. But I'd prefer to avoid the added expense of postage. Besides, my family will probably not let me back in the house if I don't come loaded with gifts :-)

I also have my laptop backpack with me, with my work laptop in it (which was purchased in NZ prior to coming over here). I could always purchase an iPad, open it, and stick that in there too. I'm over here for a client visit (just started a new contract with a SF based company), so could always claim they gave it to me for development work. I could sell this story further by quickly knocking up a prototype app and installing it on the iPad :-)



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  Reply # 920078 23-Oct-2013 07:23
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So the new iPad (Air) isn't available until Nov 1. That simplifies things somewhat. I should be able to ignore the "importing goods over NZD $700" box on the arrival form, I think :-)

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  Reply # 920087 23-Oct-2013 07:52
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for the price of the Ipad if you are flying home thru Aussie try and get one from there, it works out cheaper than the USA when you get it duty free.

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