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Welcome to the SHEAF Blog.

Despite our best intentions, we're not great at keeping this blog updated with our latest happenings. We are, however, definitely an active group, meeting at least once each week during term time.

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(Last updated May 2013)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Customs and Charges on homeschooling material

One of our SHEAFies got stuck recently paying a huge GST bill when ordering a curriculum package from overseas. (My husband has also had this happen once when buying too much gaming stuff in one hit - so it's not just curricular purchasing you need to be careful of!)

You don't find out you've got a problem until Customs rings you up and says "Pay us lots of money or we won't release your goods" - so fore-warned is fore-armed!

Selina-Jane was able to offer this explanation and hint:

There was a query today via the SHEAF group to ask about GST charges on curriculum items purchased from overseas. I am lucky enough to have a brother-in-law who works for customs, so have asked him to clarify things for me.

A couple of years ago when I asked him about this he told me:
The GST is applicable if you have bought over approx $400 NZD. Take into consideration the cost of freight also as that has gst on it also.
This meant that as long as your order (including postage) totalled less than approx $400.00(NZ) you would not need to pay GST on it.

After the query came through I asked him to clarify it a bit further for me, and this was his response:
The costs have changed due to GST going up and a few items such as certain types of clothing attract a few extra charges but the de minimus is set at $60. So if you order something and the total of duty and gst is over $60 then you will be liable to pay.
So this still remains around the $400 mark for 99% of all imports.
It is based on the tariff rates and the GST rate.
The de minimus was recently changed from $50 to $60. This was to cover the raise in gst to 15% and keep the $400 mark the same. So situation is still normal in regards to you importing your educational material.
If you are ever unsure about anything Customs related call 0800 4 CUSTOMS which is our call centre. They will give you up to date information and you will get the correct information.

A handy hint that was passed onto me was that lot of people order their stuff in 2 lots, making sure both lots are under $400 in order to avoid the GST - that is what we did.

Hope this helps!
Blessings, Selina-Jane

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