New Zealand Import Regulation for Japan Used Cars

New Zealand Import Regulation for Japan Used Cars

Japan Used Car Import Duty / Regulation in New Zealand


Year Restrictions
Not Earlier Than 2005
Destination Port
Auckland, Lyttelton, Nelson
Time of Shipment
RoRo (14-24 Days)
Vessel Schedule
RoRo (Monthly)
Shipping Line
COSCO Shipping Lines Ltd, Armacup Maritime Service


Shipping Port

Vehicle can be shipped from any port in Japan to all major Ports in New Zealand such as Auckland, Dunedin, Lyttleton, Welington.


Age Restriction

As per new guidelines, vehicle must not be manufactured before 2006 which means that the vehicle should not be more than 8 years old from the date of manufacturing while it is imported in New Zealand. Exceptions in the rules are granted if the vehicle imported is a 'special interest' vehicle or the vehicle has been registered in buyers name in Japan.


Emission Standards

Vehicles must meet up with the emission standards described by New Zealand government as per their class. Testing can be conducted by only approved testing stations.


Inspection Required

JEVIC and Quarantine service (MAF Biosecurity) inspection are required to be done in Japan before importing the Car in New Zealand from Japan.
Used vehicles from Japan, before being used should pass through Biosecurity clearance as they can carry a number of biosecurity contaminants, including high risk pest species like Lymantria dispar (Asian gypsy moth). This is done with the objective to determine the nature and quantity of slippage. The measures specified by the current Import Health Standard are adequate for 31% of used vehicles imported (6% that are uncontaminated and 25% that have only visible contamination). The remaining used vehicles imported either has contaminated air filters and/or may have contamination that cannot be seen with visual inspection.


Documents Required while importing vehicle in New Zealand

  • Copy of Passport.

  • Copy of relevant visas/permits for immigrants.

  • Registration/Ownership/ deregistration certificate from Japan (original and certified English copy).

  • Original Invoices showing, Export (FOB Japan) costs and Freight costs and marine insurance costs to NZ.

  • Bill of Lading having Odometer readings both at time of sale for export to NZ and at time of importation into NZ.

  • Proof of continues ownership such as insurance certificate or vehicle license document.

  • New Zealand Customs Client Code Application.


Entry Certification

An entry certified process is carried out before the imported used vehicle from Japan can be used. The process of certification invloves:"

  • Checking whether or not the vehicle meet up the required safety emissions and frontal impact standards. Also carrying out an inspection to test vehicle condition.

  • Deciding whether the vehicle needs any rectification and/or specific certification in order to meet legal safety requirements.

  • Certifying whether or not vehicle meets safety and emission requirements.

  • Verifying the legal owner of the vehicle.


If you're importing a used vehicle from Japan you must provide evidence that it meets a range of approved standards before it can be registered for use on the road.

Proof of ownership:

You need to provide evidence that you're the legal owner of the vehicle. This includes the original documents that prove previous registration and provide an ownership trail that goes back to the last registered owner in the country where the vehicle was last registered.

  • Motorcycles over 250cc: You need to provide the original certificate of return vehicle inspection certificate issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)

  • Small motorcycles (250cc or less, over 125cc): the original mini-vehicle notification certificate – confirmation of return issued by Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association

  • Smaller than 125cc: You need to provide the original notification of dismantlement issued by a city office in Japan

Passenger vehicles:

Passenger vehicles excluding mini-vehicles: the original export certificate (with a type designation number (TDN) and a model code) issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) or completion inspection certificate.

Mini-vehicles (660cc or less, Kei-Jidosha): You need to provide the original export certificate issued by Light Motor Vehicle Inspection Organisation

All other vehicles: You can use an original export certificate issued by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) or a completion inspection certificate.

Top Selling Used Vehicles in New Zealand


Toyota is most popular Japanese model imported in New Zealand. In the commercial vehicle segment, top sellers are Toyota Hiace, Nissan Caravan and Toyota Regius. The most popular used car model imported in New Zealand is Nissan Tiida in 2014, according to the September car sales figures. Around 577 imported used Nissan Tiidas were sold in September only. This was followed closely by the Suzuki Swift and the Mazda Axela, with 542 and 508 imported used models in September respectively. Along with the used car segment, the used motorcycle segment of the country also increases in 2014. It was up by 25 per cent for 2014 to 2,152 compared to 2013s figure of 1,722.


Taxes and duties

Generally the motor vehicles and motorcycles are free from tariff duty and only subject to a goods and services tax of 15 percent. Ambulances and vehicles for the transport of persons specially equipped for habitation, ie, with sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities, are subject to duty at the rate of 10 percent in addition to GST.




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