Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers)

Jump to a question:

  1. What is a Freight Forwarder?
  2. What is a Customs Broker?
  3. Why should I use a Freight Forwarder & Customs Broker?
  4. What is ISPM15 Timber?
  5. What if I want to send my vehicle to Australia?
  6. What do I pay GST on?
  7. When do I pay Duty?
  8. What is AMS Filing?
  9. What is ENS?
  10. Insurance, do I need it?
  11. What is VGM? (Verified Gross Mass)

What is a Freight Forwarders?

A Freight Forwarders arranges physical cargo movement for both imports and exports to/from the place of manufacture to the designated delivery address.   We liaise with the Airline, Courier and Shipping Line services that are available to us to ensure that your freight is moving the most cost effective way according to your time delivery needs.

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What is a Customs Broker?

A Customs Broker is a trained professional that assists you to customs clear your goods for both Import and Export through New Zealand’s Customs boarders.  Dean Freight International can provide this service and are fully qualified as Customs Brokers and hold Certificates of Public Practice with Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation of NZ (CBAFF).

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Why should I use a Freight Forwarder & Customs Broker?

We aim to help reduce costs. We can select the best method of transportation to and from New Zealand, and ensure that correct documentation is presented for both export and import.

As customs brokers acting on your behalf, we assist with matters pertaining to Customs Entry Lodgment with New Zealand Customs, duty and GST calculations, rules of origin, tariff concessions and can advise you on customs rulings.

We like to develop strong working relationships through understanding your business processes and service requirements, ensuring you have timely information to enhance your service to your customers. We see international freight management as much more than just handling your "today's" requirements.

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What is ISPM15 Timber?

ISPM15 stands for the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (publication number 15), which is the regulation of wood packaging material for global trade.  The regulations are set in place to help with the prevention of the spread of plant pests and diseases by using specially treated wooden packaging material.

ISPM15 applies to coniferous softwood and non-coniferous hardwood used as raw wood packaging material. The standard does not apply to wood packaging made wholly of manufactured wood-based products such as plywood and veneer, reconstituted wood products (particle board, chipboard, Presswood, oriented strand board, high density fibre board, and medium density fibre board) or products created using glue, heat and pressure or a combination thereof.

All ISPM15 treated timber that is accepted for global transport will display the following mark:

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What if I want to send my vehicle to Australia?

Before you export your vehicle, motorhome, caravan or trailer into Australia, you must apply for an import permit with the Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure & Transport:

You must have been issued with an import permit prior to export from New Zealand, and failure to do so will incur heavy penalties with the Australian Government at point of entry.

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What do I pay GST on?

If you are either a commercial or private importer, GST at 15% will be levied.  GST is payable on all goods imported into New Zealand and their importation costs. It is calculated at time of import when the entry is submitted to New Zealand Customs.  New Zealand Customs collect the GST on behalf of the IRD.  If you are a registered New Zealand business, you are able to claim any GST back on your GST return. GST is exempt for exports.

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When do I pay Duty?

Duty is levied by New Zealand Customs and is generally designed to protect goods that are made in New Zealand.  Not all goods arriving into New Zealand shores attract duty as there are concessions set in place for specific products enabling them to become duty free.

For more information on duty that maybe applicable to the product you are importing, please do not hesitate to contact us - we will be more than happy to answer your questions.  We will need to know the country of origin/manufacture and a detailed description of the goods.

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What is AMS Filing?

AMS (Automated Manifest Service) is applicable for all shipments/exports departing New Zealand bound for the USA and Canada, and is a legal regulation governed by the American and Canadian border authorities.

Dean Freight International is required to lodge documentation with shipping lines 72 hours prior to vessel departure from the port of loading in New Zealand.

The initiative by US and Canadian Customs means they have advance notification of product being imported into their countries and they can reject any suspicious shipment at origin before the goods physically reach US and Canadian shores.

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What is ENS?

Similar to AMS Filing (above), ENS (Entry Summary Declaration) is submitted electronically by shipping carriers for all members of the European Union.  This too means the EU has prior notification of product being imported into their regions and can be rejected if deemed of a suspicious nature, as with the USA and Canada, prior to the goods arriving on their shores.  We are required to lodge information 24 hours prior to the onset of loading at any New Zealand port.

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Insurance, do I need it?

While your goods are in transit, and you do not have insurance, if the vessel/aircraft has problems and damage is incurred to the carrier and freight on board, then you may be subject to costs.  This means that the carrier/owner can declare a general average which means that all shippers on board are required to meet the cost of salvage.

We offer marine insurance policies which can cover all your freight during transit, from door to door, for most commodities and countries of origin/destination.  We highly recommend you insure your goods while in transit.

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What is VGM? (Verified Gross Mass)

As of the 1st of July 2016, the International Maritime Organisation which is responsible for Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) introduced a new global regulation where all export containers must have a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) supplied to the Port and the Shipping Company prior to the container arriving at the Port of Origin Gate. The Ports will be enforcing this by saying “NO VGM, NO LOAD”.

Exporters have two approved Method’s for obtaining their Verified Gross Mass for their containers.

Method 1:  The container is weighed once all freight has been packed and the container is sealed. The Cartage Company will take the container over an approved certified weigh bridge on the way to the Port of Loading.

Method 2: The exporter weighs all the freight and packing materials going into the container and adds this value to the tare weight of the container. The container tare weight is found on the outside of the container doors. A signed document from the exporter is to be sent declaring the cargo weight.

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