New Zealand superyacht tax & customs

New Zealand offers a warm welcome to charter yachts and those wishing to avail of the favourable and experienced refit facilities and marinas, but as with every other territory, there are very specific Ts & Cs you need to explore before arrival



Advance notification

  • Every yacht arriving from overseas must notify NZ Customs at least 48 hours prior to arrival in New Zealand waters, or when your vessel is 12 nautical miles of the coastline
  • Customs will inform MPI of your arrival
  • You must fly the Q-flag once inside New Zealand waters until you have been cleared in

Places of first arrival
Your first place of arrival in New Zealand must be a port or marina that has been approved to receive yachts and other recreational vessels from overseas. These are called ‘places of first arrival’ (PoFA).

To manage biosecurity risks of small recreational craft, PoFA’s must have access to an MPI approved transitional facility for haul-out and decontamination.

There are seven ports and marinas where small craft/recreational vessels (i.e. yachts) can enter New Zealand. All seven ports and marinas are Customs Controlled Areas (CCAs) and Places of First Arrival (PoFA) for MPI.

Points of entry
1. Opua
2. Whangarei
3. Auckland (Westhaven marina)
4. Auckland Harbour Viaduct marina and Silo Park marina
5. Tauranga
6. Picton
7. Lyttelton


Superyachts of 500 GT or more should also report to the local harbourmaster’s office upon arrival and will need the services of a pilot when visiting ports in New Zealand. A pilotage exemption or accreditation can be attained for visiting Auckland.

Northland: [email protected]
Auckland: [email protected]
Wellington: [email protected]
Marlborough – Nelson: [email protected]
Southland: [email protected]


Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands Marina

Port Nikau
Oceania Marine
Marsden Cove Marina
Whangarei Marina
Viaduct Marina and Silo Marina
Viaduct Harbour
Orams Marine Superyacht Berth

Vessel Works


Border requirements
Yachts and small craft arriving in New Zealand must comply with all border entry requirements that are in place to protect New Zealand.

Top three points to remember prior to arrival
The master of every vessel must:

  1. Notify border agencies at least 48 hours before entering New Zealand waters, 12 nautical miles from the coastline with an Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA). From time to time additional documents may also be required from a health perspective, currently vessels need to provide an Extended Notice of Arrival (ENofA) etc. See NZ Customs website for up to date requirements. These documents need to be emailed to [email protected]
  2. Display the international Q-flag upon entering New Zealand waters
  3. Report directly to an approved port of entry for border clearance formalities

Recreational vessels (yachts and leisure craft) will need a full biosecurity clearance. A full clearance allows you to sail freely in New Zealand waters and remain in the country for an approved time.

It involves an inspection of the vessel by an MPI officer and removal – for disposal or treatment – of all risk goods including prohibited foods and garbage. If any signs of pests are found on board, they will be treated. There is a step-by-step process to help you prepare for your biosecurity inspection.

Follow the steps as detailed here: ships-and-boats-border-clearance/yachts- and-other-recreational-vessels


A visiting superyacht may be able to be used for commercial charter for up to 65% of the total period the foreign flagged yacht is visiting New Zealand. Special provisions apply to gain regulatory consent from Maritime New Zealand, NZ Customs and Inland Revenue Department. The accredited superyacht Agents listed on this website are familiar with completing all procedures and can assist obtaining the respective approvals.

Superyachts, their owners and crew, can now enter easily by land and sea, enjoying access to New Zealand’s safe shores, high-quality refit services and world-renowned scenery. Foreign flagged yachts visiting New Zealand benefit from a superyacht friendly framework that includes newly completed refit facilities, a 24-month Temporary Import Entry (TIE) and refit services and supplies which are exempt from New Zealand’s 15 percent goods and services tax (GST)

Operational logistics for crew
Crew are not required to pay tax providing they are not present in New Zealand for more than 365 days in any two-year period and are not employed by a New Zealand resident/ New Zealand-controlled company.

Taxation of income of crews for charter yachts
If the country of residence of the employer does not have a Dual Tax Agreement with New Zealand, the employment income will be exempt from tax if they stay in New Zealand for 92 days or less, the New Zealand employment income is taxable in their own country of residence, and the services performed are on behalf of a person who is not a resident New Zealand.

Tax & GST
A visiting yacht entered on a ‘Temporary Import Entry’ may purchase goods ‘zero rated’ of GST if the goods are to form part or equipment for the yacht for safe navigation and exported with the yacht. A visiting yacht entered on a TIE may purchase goods, equipment and services ‘zero rated’ of GST, if the goods or services are to form part of the yacht and are exported with the yacht.

*The process is simple with the GST not charged at point of purchase on production of the TIE certificate to the supplier of goods or services.

For the latest information on taxation regulations contact your local NZ superyacht agent


International Clearance
All craft departing overseas from New Zealand must depart from a Customs Port of Entry. A Customs officer will meet you at the agreed time and place of departure. You must submit several forms and advise the New Zealand Customs Service at least 72 hours before your intended departure.

Once issued with a clearance certificate, yachts are required to go to sea immediately unless you have made alternative arrangements with Customs. Any delay should be reported immediately to [email protected] or by phone at 09 927 8240/0800 486 267.

You will be charged a Border Clearance Levy on departure. border-clearance/yachts-and-other-recreational-vessels/