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So, You Want To Import A Motorhome? Here’s What You Need To Know

Posted on January 3, 2016 – Shipping Vehicles

So, You Want To Import A Motorhome? Here’s What You Need To Know

During New Zealand’s warmer months when the days and longer and the sun tends to shine a bit more, the lure of the open road means that many people look to buy a caravan or motorhome.

Looking overseas to import a motorhome can save you thousands providing you get the basics right when you bring the vehicle into New Zealand and understand things like compliance, MAF clearance, Customs duty and GST and containment.

So who do McCullough Ltd work with to bring caravans and motorhomes into New Zealand?

The numbers of those migrating to New Zealand is currently soaring with Statistics New Zealand revealing that November 2015 broke all records with a net gain of 6300 people coming to live in New Zealand just that month. People moving from Australia and the UK account for a large proportion of these migrants and many of them want to bring their own motorhome or caravan with them rather than paying the high prices of replacement here.

More and more New Zealanders are returning from living overseas – especially Australia and the UK – and wanting to bring their belongings with them.

Some people will want to bring their own motorhome or campervan with them when they come to New Zealand on holiday – especially if it has sentimental value or is a restored classic.

Many New Zealanders see the financial benefit of sourcing a new or used caravan or motorhome overseas and then paying to have it shipped here.

And what are the key factors that you need to overcome in order to bring your motorhome or caravan into New Zealand?

It is so much cheaper and easier to ensure that the vehicle you want to import conforms with New Zealand regulations before you set about shipping it over – and for that to happen firstly you’ll need the manufacturer’s records and records of all work done to the vehicle. Any parts or work required to get the vehicle up to standard is also likely to cost less overseas so it’s worth getting advice from McCullough before you start the process.

Entry certification also means passing tests on safety emissions, roadworthiness, frontal impact standards and verification of ownership. Once these have been passed you’ll have to pay for registration and, depending on size, a warrant or certificate of fitness.

McCullough can also advise on potential costs for obtaining compliance depending on the type of vehicle you are bring into New Zealand.

MAF and Customs
It’s important to ensure your vehicle is clean before it is shipped to New Zealand – this is especially important if it has been used previously and could have seeds, animals or dirt which would be a biosecurity risk to New Zealand’s own wildlife or plants.

There is likely to be duty and GST payable on an imported motorhome but there are also exemptions for some people visiting New Zealand – again, McCullough can help answer your questions on what is payable.

And don’t forget that you’ll want to ensure that any belongings stored in the motorhome during shipping (this can be a very good way to cut down on storage space) will also have to pass MAF and Customs inspections.

Motorhomes and caravans have to conform to a level of certified self-containment – ie have enough storage space for clean and waste water so that they are not a burden on the environment or a risk to public health.

The rules around self-containment in New Zealand are designed to ensure the vehicle has enough water and waste storage for all occupants for three days:

4 litres per person per day of fresh water (ie a minimum of 12 litres per person).

1 litre per person per day of water for any toilet (ie a minimum of 3 litres holding tank capacity).

4 litres per person per day holding tank capacity (ie a minimum of 12 litres per person).

Holding tank must be monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank.

Motorhome must also be fitted with a sink, evacuation hose and sealable rubbish container with lid.

Your motorhome will also have to pass safety checks for any gas and electrical used on board.

Type of shipping
Whether your motorhome travels via shipping container or on a roll-on-roll-off boat depends entirely on its size – some smaller vehicles may well fit into a large container along with the rest of your belongings but it’s likely that most modern motorhomes will travel on a RORO vessel.

Again, the port it arrives at depends on the type of vessel your motorhome is shipped in – RORO vessels arrive only in Auckland. But McCullough can still arrange for the vehicle to be transported to wherever it is needed once it has passed all compliance, MAF and Customs certification.

For more information on how we can help you bring a caravan or motorhome into New Zealand – even how we can help you source a new caravan or motorhome from overseas – call us on +64 9 303 0075, get a quote, contact us via the website or email us at info@mmnz.biz.

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