I've been researching a trip to New Zealand and encountered the business of duty fees. (I'm new to international travel.)

I am a visitor, arriving in NZ for a holiday stay. I have an expensive item (a DSLR I use for photography while I travel. Technically, it can hang around my neck or stay strapped to my wrist) that I purchased in my home country some time ago for personal use. It's worth about $2000 NZD, so does that $2000 put me over the $700 NZD concession limit? If not, how would a $2000 item be calculated against my permitted concession in NZ?

  • @KateGregory I do not plan to leave it in New Zealand. It would travel with me, ideally in my carry-on. – kevin628 Jan 1 '17 at 23:15
  • 4
    Generally duty is applicable only to items imported which are not re-exported. Temporary imports generally do not attract duty regardless of value, however... For certain high value items such as cars, a country might ask for a bond, a carnet or some other guarantee that the item will be re-exported. – Michael Hampton Jan 1 '17 at 23:19
  • @KateGregory It's a DSLR i use for photography while I travel. Technically, it can hang around my neck or stay strapped to my wrist. However, it's ambiguous to me whether it fits the personal effects exemption or not. – kevin628 Jan 1 '17 at 23:28
  • It's not ambiguous to me at all - I'll do an answer – Kate Gregory Jan 1 '17 at 23:30
  • One thing to be careful about it whether you can prove you already owned it to your home country. That is, could customs think you had purchased it overseas (in NZ) and were then importing it. So take the purchase receipt, or sometimes you can register the item with customs before you leave. – mkennedy Jan 1 '17 at 23:42

A camera that belongs to you will be part of your "Wearing apparel and personal effects concession" as listed at the bottom of the New Zealand Customs Page.

Visitors to New Zealand may bring in the following additional items under the wearing apparel and personal effects concession provided that they take them with them when they leave:

  • Personal cameras, film, tapes and accessories.

  • Binoculars.

  • Portable musical instruments.

  • Portable sound and video reproduction devices including tape recorders, compact disc players, mini disc players, DVD players, and dictating machines with discs and tapes.

  • Portable radio receivers.

  • Cellular or mobile phones.

  • Portable personal computers (laptops, net books) and accessories.

  • Baby carriages and strollers.

  • Wheelchairs for invalids.

  • Sporting equipment.

There's no requirement that you actually wear it, despite the name of the exemption.

My experience entering New Zealand is that nobody was asking questions about cameras and laptops. They work hard on biohazards, but they're not trying to collect duty on a high end camera you intend to use to show people how great your trip was, then leave with. We had a camera large enough that it was in a carryon, not worn, and this was not relevant to the nice people who mainly wanted to look at the soles of our shoes, since we'd been out in nature before arrival.

  • Thank you, Kate. This is answered my question perfectly. Thank you so much! – kevin628 Jan 1 '17 at 23:38

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