The importing process - what you need to do

Step 1: Do your research

We recommend that you do not purchase a vehicle overseas until you have completed the following steps:

  1. Identify the vehicle standards that your potential vehicle must meet if you want to use it on the road in New Zealand.
  2. Talk to an entry certifier for specific advice around the vehicle’s suitability for importation.
  3. Consult the Clean Car Standard information to understand if additional costs or a rebate will apply to the vehicle.
  4. Ensure you know what’s required by other government agencies and that you can meet their requirements also.
  5. Check whether the vehicle is subject to a safety recall(external link).
  6. Talk to a customs or shipping agent about the importing process including their cost, shipping options and timeframes.

Step 2: Providing Evidence to start the importing process

Once you have done your research and have purchased a vehicle, you'll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Contract the services of a shipping agent to help with the import entry process (this not mandatory but highly recommended).
  2. Provide evidence to support compliance with all requirements. Some evidence will need to be supplied to the shipping agent for entering the Customs import system, other information and evidence will need to be provided as part of the entry certification process.

Step 3: Arrangements when the vehicle has landed

Once your vehicle has arrived in New Zealand you'll need to:

  1. Arrange the border inspection (if not already carried out in Japan).
  2. Once Customs and biosecurity clearance is provided, arrange the entry certification which will identify any repairs that are required as part of the entry certification process If the vehicle has major damage, it may be taken to a repair certifier prior to an entry certifier.
  3. Pay a charge or receive a credit under Clean Car Standard (CCS) through your online CCS account.
  4. Register and licence the vehicle (if it is to be used on the road).