Changes to global Customs clearance requirements

Changes to global Customs clearance requirements

Electronic Advance Data (EAD) - what you need to do when sending parcels overseas.

From September 2020, if you’re sending parcels overseas, there are important global Customs clearance requirements that need to be met to ensure your parcel reaches its destination without being delayed or returned.

For border security and clearance purposes, we need to electronically capture the sender, receiver and parcel content information that you provide on the Customs declaration forms for all international services (except International Air Letters*). This information needs to be shared in advance, to the destination postal administration and national government agencies (such as Customs) for fiscal, risk, security and border clearance purposes, in line with national and international legislation.

* Letters generally do not require a Customs declaration form. However, if the letter contains a declarable value (e.g. a calendar) then the appropriate Customs declaration form must be filled in and attached to the letter.

Check our Economy Letters International service for more information on sending letters overseas.

Sending international items in-store or using a manual consignment note.

Once you have completed the Customs declaration forms, our retailers will scan the barcode and take an image of the completed form at the counter. This will be converted into an electronic format (EAD).

Recent changes to global Customs clearance requirements means that if the Customs declaration form is not filled out correctly for EAD purposes, your parcel could be delayed or returned. To ensure your item gets there, first time, you must:

  • Write in English and BLOCK capitals
  • Make sure that all the information in is in the correct field
  • Write the sender and receiver name, address & phone number
  • For each individual item within your parcel, add its weight*, quantity and value, and write the total parcel weight

* Individual item weight can be an estimate

Under the Postal Services Act, New Zealand Post is unable to accept any liability or cover for letters including those letters that require a Customs declaration form. If you require coverage for a letter that has a declared value and requires a Customs declaration form, then you can use our Air Parcel Service.

A service fee of $5 (GST Zero rated) is included in the in-store price for sending parcels overseas to cover the electronic data capture cost, processing and administration fee. If you have a business account and you do not use a consignment note generated from a NZ Post electronic lodgement system, you will see the service fee separately on your invoice.

Please note: the latest Customs declaration form (CN 22) coded as OS008A (07/20) should be used when sending parcels overseas.

Items Parcels t hat use any other versions of CN 22 will be either delayed or returned to the senders.

Sending International parcels using NZ Post online tools

No service fee will apply when sending International parcels and documents using our online tools such as Print Postage Online, eShip and labelling APIs. Sender, receiver and parcel content information will be sent to the overseas postal service or organisation electronically upon the completion of the transaction.

Sending parcels to the United States

From January 2021, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will enforce stricter border control regulations and will return any shipments not accompanied by accurate EAD information. So, it’s important that you complete your Customs declaration clearly and accurately, or you risk your parcel being delayed or returned when it enters the United States.

Sending parcels to Europe

As of October 2021, countries in  the European Union (including Norway and Switzerland) will be enforcing firm requirements for Customs documentation and will return or delay any shipments not accompanied by accurate EAD information. 

Some countries are following these new requirements with strict adherence. For example, Ireland have adopted a firm approach with mandatory HS or TARIC codes for all parcels sent internationally. We expect to see more countries adopt similar approaches.

Privacy of information

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Sender, Receiver and Parcel Contents: EAD Requirements and Examples 

When it comes to completing manual consignment notes or creating shipping labels via any NZ Post electronic lodgement tool, there are a few mandatory requirements – all to ensure you’re able to get your item to its destination safely. 

The following tables highlight these requirements and some of the everyday errors that may affect the delivery of your item: 

Sender and Receiver's details

Full Name Full Name Joe Bloggs × Joe (no surname)
Both Sender and Receiver Addresses must be included.
Street Number, Street Name, Street Type 30 Pitt Street × 30 Pitt
  • NB: Not all countries have a postcode system
  • If you are sending to a country where a postcode is applicable/in use, it is mandatory to include both Sender and Receiver postcodes.
If sending to Germany (a destination using a postcode system), you must include your own postcode (if you are also sending from a country using a postcode system) and the Receiver's German postcode
  • The names for country/territory should be listed in plain English
  • Avoid using the geographic term or names of other administrative divisions
Germany × Deutschland
China × 中国
Cook Islands × Rarotonga
United Kingdom × Northern Ireland
French Polynesia × Tahiti
Telephone number Phone number:
  • Include the country code as a pre-face to the local number
× 02112345678



Parcel Contents Information: Customs Declaration Form

Reason for Export Ensure you’re accurately declaring your reason for export Only use ‘Gift’ if the item being sent is a legitimate gift × if your goods are part of a commercial transaction, you cannot select ‘Gift’.
Description of Contents Specific description of goods being sent:
  • Avoid the product names for marketing purpose
  • Ensure that your description is written in plain English 

Chocolate candies
Vitamin C chewable tablet
Woollen Jersey

× M&M’s
× Bio C® 1000 or Blackmores dietary supplement
× Clothing
HS Tariff Number

For most countries, it is recommended to provide a 6-digit HS Tariff Number for commercial items.  

For some destinations, such as Ireland, it is mandatory to include a 6-digit HS Tariff number or 10-digit TARIC number for all items.

A HS Tariff code are applicable in numerous locations:
To find a HS Tariff number specific to NZ, visit 
To find a TARIC (Europe) number, visit European Commission Taxation and Customs Union


Questions & Answers

EAD is the electronic capture of consignment note information for transmission to the overseas destination, before the item leaves New Zealand.

We are requiring the electronic capture of sender, receiver and parcel content information on the Customs declaration form for all international services*, i.e.:

  • Economy
  • Courier
  • Express

* Economy Letters and Economy Registered items do not require a customs declaration form.

The information is captured for the purpose of fiscal, risk, security and clearance in line with the national and international legislation.

If we do not comply with these international requirements the item may not be able to enter the destination country.

This requirement is not limited to New Zealand; all postal operators and other delivery service providers around the world are required to capture and transmit this data to all countries before parcels can be sent.

A service fee of $5 (GST Zero rated) is included in the in-store price of sending International Courier, International Express Courier, International Air Small Parcel and International Air Parcel overseas to cover the electronic data capture cost, processing and administration fee.

No, items sent using the Print Postage tool on the NZ Post website don’t need to be scanned for EAD. Sender, receiver and parcel content information is sent electronically to the overseas postal service or organisation.

The information captured may be electronically transmitted to the destination postal administration and national government agencies (such as Customs) in advance, for purposes such as fiscal, risk, security and border clearance, in line with national and international legislation.

As the sender, it’s your responsibility to provide true and correct information about the parcels you send overseas.

Check our Customs declaration and consignment notes page for full details of Customs documentation needed when sending parcels overseas.

If you need more advice, just ask a member of our team in-store when you’re posting your international item. They’ll be happy to help. Check our NZ Post store locator to find an outlet near you.

You are required to supply the following information on your customs declaration:

  • Sender name, address and phone numbers
  • The name, address and phone number of the receiver
  • Category of the item within the parcel (i.e. commercial, gift or other)
  • Total parcel weight

For each item within your parcel:

  • A detailed description of each item within your parcel
  • Quantity
  • Individual weight of each item*
  • Value

* Individual item weight can be an estimate.

We recommend that commercial senders include additional information, including a Harmonised System (HS) tariff number and the country of origin of the goods.

You must give a detailed description of each item within your parcel such as 'men’s cotton shirts', 'child's jigsaw' or 'red women's party dress'. General descriptions such as 'spare parts', 'samples' or 'food products' are not permitted. You must also specify the quantity for each item within your parcel in the quantity field of the Customs declaration form..

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