Service terms - International Freight Services

These Service Terms, and the current version of NZ Post’s General Terms, any “bill of lading” or “waybill” issued by or on behalf of NZ Post as Carrier and any agreement between NZ Post and the Customer which incorporates these terms, together form the agreement with the Customer apply to any Carriage carried out or arranged by NZ Post (whether as principal or agent).. Please read all terms carefully. The current version of the Service Terms applies whenever you use the Services. If the Service Terms are not consistent with the General Terms, the Service Terms have precedence for these Services. The terms of any bill of lading or waybill take precedence for the relevant shipment.

By starting to use the Services, you are deemed to have accepted the General Terms and these Service Terms. No amendments proposed by you apply, unless different terms are specifically agreed with you in writing by one of our General Managers.

Interpretation and Application

1. Defined terms

Business Day means any day of week when businesses are customarily open for business, except statutory public holidays, in the jurisdiction when the activity is to be done or notice delivered;

Carriage means carriage of Goods, and any incidental services, including any packaging, storage, trans-shipment, customs-clearance, unloading, handling and delivery and other services in connection with the implementation of the Customer’s Instructions;

Carrier means a person who undertakes an aspect of Carriage;

CCLA refers to the carriage of provisions of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (Subpart 1 of Part 5);

Customer means the person at whose request or on whose behalf any Services are performed, and also includes any successors and assigns of that person;

Customer’s Instructions means the instructions or series of instructions given by or on behalf of the Customer to NZ Post with respect to the Goods;

Dangerous Goods means Goods that:

  1. are or may become explosive, flammable, poisonous, corrosive, acidic, radioactive or infectious;
  2. are highly magnetic, polymerisable or otherwise unsuitable for carriage;
  3. harbour or are likely to harbour or encourage vermin, borer or other pests;
  4. may cause damage or injury to any property or persons; or
  5. are considered to be dangerous or hazardous by any applicable law, convention or regulatory authority;

Goods means each individual consignment of goods accepted by NZ Post under the Agreement, and includes any containers, pallets and other packaging other than that supplied by or on behalf of NZ Post;

Loss includes any loss or liability including all duties, taxes, penalties, fines, payments, claims, demands, costs (including full legal costs) and expenses, and other liabilities or losses of whatever kind including any liability to indemnify any other person, in connection with Services;

NZ Post’s Charge means the amount to be paid by the Customer to NZ Post for the Services, and includes NZ Post’s agency fees and any amounts payable to any Third Party Carrier;

Restricted Goods means Dangerous Goods, perishable goods and valuable goods (which includes currency, bonds, negotiable instruments and securities, precious metals, stones and jewellery, antiques, works of art and historical artifacts, human remains, livestock, plants, and any other comparable goods), together with any other types of Goods which NZ Post deems to be Restricted Goods or prohibited Goods from time to time (including by posting a list of such Goods on NZ Post’s website);

Third Party Carrier means any third party Carrier who is engaged by NZ Post on behalf of the Customer for the purposes of the Customer’s Instructions;

Unit of Goods has the same meaning as defined in the CCLA (whether or not the Carriage is subject to the CCLA).

2. Construction

In the Agreement:

  1. Currency: a reference to any monetary amount is to New Zealand currency;
  2. Negative Obligations: a reference to a prohibition against doing any thing includes a reference to not permitting, suffering or causing that thing to be done;
  3. Related Terms: where a word or expression is defined in these terms and conditions, other parts of speech and grammatical forms of that word or expression have corresponding meanings;
  4. Singular, Plural and Gender: the singular includes the plural and vice versa, and words importing one gender include the other genders;
  5. Statutes and Regulations: a reference to an enactment or any regulations is a reference to that enactment or those regulations as amended, or to any enactment or regulations substituted for that enactment or those regulations;
  6. Time: a reference to time is to New Zealand time.


3. NZ Post role as agent

3.1 In providing the Services, NZ Post acts solely as agent of the Customer, and not as Carrier, except to the extent that NZ Post directly performs any aspect of Carriage.

3.2 The Customer acknowledges that NZ Post does not assume a role as Carrier by giving a quote, estimate or invoice for NZ Post’s Charge. The difference between NZ Post’s Charge, and the amounts payable to Third Party Carriers together with the disbursements and expenses referred to in clause 13.1, represents NZ Post’s agency fee.

3.3 NZ Post is not a common carrier and may at any time at its sole discretion:

  1. refuse to accept any Goods for Carriage or any other Service; and/or
  2. open and inspect any Goods.

4. Authority to act on Customer’s behalf

4.1 The Customer appoints NZ Post as its agent and authorises NZ Post to act on the Customer’s behalf to arrange contracts of Carriage and take such other steps to carry out the Customer’s Instructions by any route, means and Carrier and at any place for any length of time and on such terms as NZ Post, in its absolute discretion sees fit. The Customer agrees to ratify and confirm any such contracts and steps if required by NZ Post.

4.2 The Customer authorises NZ Post to depart from the Customer’s Instructions in any respect if, in NZ Post’s absolute discretion, NZ Post considers it reasonable or necessary to do so.

4.3 A contract arranged by NZ Post with a Third Party Carrier will be:

  1. subject to the terms, conditions, stipulations and limitations of that Third Party Carrier;
  2. a direct contract between the Customer and that Third Party Carrier so that the Customer and Third Party Carrier are legally bound by the terms of that contract, whether or not the Customer is identified in the contract.

Customer’s responsibilities

5. Customer’s warranties

5.1 The Customer warrants that:

  1. it has the full and exclusive legal title in the Goods or is the authorised agent of the person or persons with such title;
  2. the Goods are fit and safe to be Carried in the condition and packaging in which they are tendered for Carriage and will not directly or indirectly soil, contaminate or otherwise harm or reduce the value of other property;
  3. it has and will complied with all applicable laws and obligations and obtained all necessary authorisations in relation to the provision by NZ Post of the Services and the Carriage of the Goods.

5.2 NZ Post may require information to be provided in connection with this Agreement by EDI messaging in the format specified by NZ Post from time to time. NZ Post is entitled to rely on, and not responsible for verifying, the accuracy and completeness of any EDI message received by NZ Post which appears to have originated from or on behalf of the Customer, any of the Customer’s employees, agents, contractors or other persons acting under the apparent authority of the Customer or any governmental or regulatory authority. NZ Post is not responsible for any unauthorised access to or interference with any EDI message whether such access or interference occurs in transit or on NZ Post’s, the Customer’s or any Third Party Carrier’s systems.

6. Indemnity

Without limiting any other provisions in the Agreement, the Customer will on demand indemnify NZ Post against all Losses incurred by NZ Post which arise in connection with the performance of the Services or the implementation of the Customer’s instructions, whether or not arising out of the negligence of NZ Post, any Third Party Carrier or their respective employees, agents or contractors.

Additional services

7. Services only available by special arrangement

Unless the Customer has asked prior and NZ Post has agreed in writing, NZ Post is not obliged to:

  1. arrange for the departure or arrival of Goods by a specific date;
  2. make any declarations as to the nature or the value of any Goods or as to any other matter;
  3. arrange for Goods to be Carried separately from any other thing;
  4. hold Goods (or to direct Third Party Carriers to hold Goods), including until payment of any amount or until surrender of a document;
  5. arrange Carriage of, or provide any Services for, any Restricted Goods;
  6. arrange insurance of Goods on behalf of the Customer.

8. Restricted Goods

8.1 The Customer undertakes not to tender any Restricted Goods for Carriage without obtaining prior agreement in writing from NZ Post. Even if NZ Post has agreed to such Carriage, NZ Post may destroy or otherwise deal with such Goods if, in its sole discretion in all the circumstances, NZ Post considers it necessary or prudent to do so.

8.2 Where NZ Post has agreed to arrange the Carriage of Restricted Goods, the Customer undertakes to ensure those Goods are marked and packaged in accordance with all laws and regulations (and NZ Post’s directions and instructions).

8.3 Any Restricted Goods are Carried at “owner’s risk” for the purposes of the CCLA or, where CCLA does not apply, on the basis set out in clause 10.

9. Insurance

9.1 If the Customer wishes to insure the Goods, it is the Customer’s sole responsibility to arrange that insurance, whether under clause 7 or otherwise.

9.2 Any insurance arranged by NZ Post under clause 7 will be subject to the exemptions and conditions of the policies of the insurer or underwriter accepting the risk and may be subject to additional charges. If the insurer disputes liability for any reason, the Customer shall have recourse against the insurer only and NZ Post shall not be under any responsibility or liability notwithstanding any fee or margin charged by NZ Post.

NZ Post liability

10. Limitation of Liability

10.1 Subject to clause 10.2, NZ Post will have no liability whatsoever to the Customer or any other person for any Loss, however caused or arising and whether or not there has been negligence or breach of contract on the part of NZ Post, any Third Party Carrier or their respective employees, agents, or contractors.

10.2 Subject to clause 8.3, if NZ Post is a Carrier and the Carriage is subject to the CCLA then the Goods are Carried at “limited carrier’s risk”, as set out in the CCLA, in relation to any aspects of the Carriage.

10.3 If for any reason, despite clause 10.1 above, NZ Post has any liability to the Customer for Loss otherwise than as a Carrier under the CCLA, subject to any mandatorily applicable statute or convention of law, the maximum amount of NZ Post’s liability shall be limited to the lesser of:

  1. the value of the Goods at the time the Goods were received by NZ Post;
  2. the cost of repairing or replacing the Goods (or acquiring equivalent Goods);
  3. NZ Post’s agency fee for providing the relevant Services; and
  4. $250 per shipment (being all Goods that travel under the same bill of lading or waybill).

10.4 NZ Post shall have no liability for any delay, loss of profits, revenue, anticipated savings, goodwill or other economic Loss, or for any consequential or indirect Loss, any Loss incurred by a third party or any Loss arising from any act or omission by or on behalf of the Customer (including any breach of this Agreement).

10.5 The Customer must take all reasonable steps to avoid or mitigate any Loss that might give rise to any claim under this Agreement, including by fully exercising any liability limitation or exclusion to which the Customer is entitled by contract or applicable law (including any convention) against any third party. NZ Post will not be liable for any Loss that could have been avoided by the Customer.

10.6 Any claim against NZ Post is deemed to have been waived unless NZ Post receives written notice of the claim, including full particulars of the events giving rise to the claim and any alleged Loss, within 10 Business Days after:

  1. the date of delivery of the Goods; or
  2. in the case of non-delivery, the date on which the Goods should have been delivered.

10.7 In any event, NZ Post will be discharged of any liability whatsoever unless the Customer issues proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction within 6 months after the date on which notice of the claim was required under clause 10.6. Section 278 of the CCLA (which relates to limitation of actions) is expressly excluded.

Charges and expenses

11. Estimates subject to change

Any quote for NZ Post’s Charge is valid for 30 days (or such other period specified in the quote or otherwise agreed in writing) and applies only to NZ Post’s agency fee. Third party charges (including Third Party Carrier charges and disbursements and expenses referred to in clause 13.1) are estimated only and may be revised at any time.

12. Charges

12.1 NZ Post’s Charge is deemed to be fully earned when the Customer tenders the Goods for Carriage. The Customer will pay NZ Post’s Charge on a non-refundable basis, irrespective of whether the Goods are delivered to the consignee.

12.2 NZ Post’s Charge may be fixed by weight, measurements or value, and NZ Post may at any time arrange for Goods to be re-weighed, re-measured or re-valued and may re-fix NZ Post’s Charge accordingly. NZ Post’s assessment of weight, measurement or value is final and binding.

12.3 The Customer remains liable for any amount owing to NZ Post even if the Customer has directed that the amount owing is to be paid by another person.

13. Disbursements and expenses

13.1 NZ Post may at its sole discretion pay, and the Customer will on demand reimburse NZ Post for, any duties, taxes or other charges, costs or disbursements paid, or any expenses incurred, by NZ Post in connection with the performance of the Services.

13.2 Notwithstanding clause 13.1, NZ Post is not required to incur or pay any costs, expenses or charges unless the Customer has put NZ Post in sufficient funds to meet such amounts in advance of the relevant requirement arising.

General terms

14. Benefit of the Agreement

The Agreement applies for the benefit of NZ Post, any Third Party Carrier and any employee, agent or contractor who acts on behalf of NZ Post or a Third Party Carrier.

15. Right of detention and lien

NZ Post will have the right of detention and a particular and general lien on the Goods, any documents relating to the Goods and any other property of the Customer in the possession or control of NZ Post, any Third Party Carrier or any contractor or agent of NZ Post at any time for all sums due and payable to NZ Post by the Customer (whether or not such sums are overdue or relate to the Goods, documents or property over which the lien is exercised).

16. Disposal of and inability to deliver Goods

16.1 NZ Post is entitled, in its sole discretion and at the expense of the Customer, to dispose of any Goods, by sale, destruction or otherwise:

  1. which cannot be delivered for any reason; or
  2. over which NZ Post has exercised its rights under clause 15; or
  3. which, in the opinion of NZ Post, are perishable and:
    1. are not collected immediately on arrival; or
    2. are insufficiently or incorrectly addressed; or
    3. would be likely to perish during the course of the Carriage of the Goods; or
    4. appear to be deteriorating; or
  4. which, in the opinion of NZ Post, are in or may enter a dangerous state or may otherwise pose a risk to any persons or property..

16.2 In the case of non-perishable Goods to be disposed of under clause 16.1(a) and (b), NZ Post will endeavour to give 7 days’ prior notice to the Customer before exercising its rights under clause 16.1.

16.3 The Customer is liable to NZ Post for any Loss incurred by NZ Post in connection with the disposal of any Goods. After settling all of the Customer’s debts to NZ Post, NZ Post will pay any balance of any net proceeds derived from the disposal of the Goods to the Customer.

16.4 The disposal of any Goods will not limit NZ Post’s rights to recover from the Customer or any person any amount due or payable to NZ Post in respect of the Services.

16.5 If the Services are affected by any event outside NZ Post’s control, NZ Post may terminate and/or abandon the Services and place the Goods at any place notified by NZ Post for the Customer to dispose of the Goods, whereupon NZ Post’s responsibility in respect of the Goods shall cease.

17. Brokerages and remunerations from Third Party Carriers

17.1 The Customer acknowledges that NZ Post may have a pecuniary interest in any contract entered into by NZ Post pursuant to the Agreement.

17.2 The Customer expressly consents to the receipt and retention by NZ Post of any brokerage, commission, discount, rebate, bonus, deduction, allowance and other remuneration. NZ Post is not bound to disclose or account to the Customer the nature or amount of any such remuneration received or receivable by NZ Post.

18. Notices

18.1 A notice or other communication will be deemed to have been received:

  1. in the case of hand delivery, at the time of actual delivery to the recipient’s address;
  2. in the case of delivery by pre-paid post within New Zealand, on the 2nd Business Day after posting;
  3. in the case of delivery by pre-paid international post, on the 5th Business Day after posting;
  4. in the case of delivery by facsimile, at the time of transmission specified in a transmission report from the sending machine which indicates that the facsimile was sent in its entirety to the facsimile number of the recipient;
  5. in the case of delivery by email, the earlier of:
    1. the sender’s receipt of confirmation of successful delivery; or
    2. one day after dispatch, provided the sender does not receive within one day after dispatch any indication of the failure of, or delay in, delivery, or non-receipt by the intended recipient. Dispatch occurs when the relevant email first leaves the sender’s network for delivery to the recipient’s address.

18.2 If a notice or other communication is received or deemed to have been received after 5 pm on a Business Day in the place to which it is sent, or on a day which is not a Business Day in that place, it will be deemed to have been received on the next Business Day.

19. No Partnership

Nothing in the Agreement shall evidence or be deemed to constitute a partnership or fiduciary relationship between the parties.

20. Contracts (Privity) Act 1982

Subject to and without limiting clause 14, the Agreement shall not and is not intended to confer any benefit on or create any obligation enforceable at the suit of any person not a party to the Agreement.

21. Entire Agreement

This Agreement is the entire agreement between the parties on the provision of Services and replaces all earlier negotiations, representations, warranties, understandings and agreements (including any Customer terms and conditions), whether oral or written, between the parties relating to the Services.

22. No assignment

The Customer may not assign or otherwise transfer this Agreement without NZ Post’s prior written consent.

23. Disputes

23.1 Any dispute or difference arising out of or in connection with this Agreement which cannot be resolved by negotiation may be referred by NZ Post to mediation under the standard terms of the Resolution Institute in Wellington, New Zealand (unless the parties agree otherwise in writing) before a mediator agreed between the parties or, failing agreement, appointed by the President of the Resolution Institute.

23.2 In the case of any failure by the Customer to pay any disputed amount, NZ Post may issue proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction instead of arbitration.

Download a PDF copy of these Service Terms (PDF - 50KB)

Last updated: 23 June 2021