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.

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

Once you have completed the Customs declaration, retailers will scan the barcode and take an image of the completed form at the counter. This will be converted into an electronic format, ready for use as 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 parcel 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 sender and receiver name, address & phone number
  • For each individual item within your parcel, add its weight*, quantity and value
  • Write the total parcel weight

* Individual item weight can be an estimate

A service fee of $5 (GST Zero rated) is included in the instore 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.

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.

Privacy of information

We take your privacy and information security very seriously. Read our Privacy Statement.

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.:

  • International Courier
  • International Express Courier
  • International Air Parcel
  • International Air Small Parcel

* Excluding International Air Letters

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 items 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.

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’d like some 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:

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

For each item within your parcel:

  • A detailed description of the contents of your item
  • Quantity
  • Individual weight of each item*
  • Value

* Individual item weight can be an estimate.

We recommend commercial senders to 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 in 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 in your parcel in the quantity field.

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