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Thread: Buying supplements online from outside NZ...

  1. #1
    CrystalLil's Avatar
    CrystalLil is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2005
    Auckland, NZ

    Default Buying supplements online from outside NZ...

    Has anyone tried to order vitamins/supplements online to be delivered to NZ from overseas? I'm asking because there are US websites that would beat the price of supplements sold here in NZ, even taking the shipping into account. I'm a bit worried though that they wouldn't get through customs - they are SO strict about biosecurity.

    If anyone has ever tried this, how did they get on? Did they have to pay GST on the goods?

    I have contacted the Food Safety Authority to ask them what the situation is - the person I spoke to there said it is quite complicated and that they would have to get back to me about it....still waiting.

    Just wondering if anyone else had any experiences they could share...whether it's worth just giving it a go???

    Thanks, Lil.

  2. #2
    Taffy's Avatar
    Taffy is offline He who shall be ignored
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    May 2004
    Hamilton, NZ
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    It certainly can be more complex than you'd want it to be! A lot of it will be down to whats contained within the packages. They may catch the interest of MAF, or even Customs. If MAF isn't pleased with them, they will destroy them and give you a fine for bringing in unwanted goods. Customs will most certainly want GST or duty if it catches their eyes.

    Having said that, the odd little thing coming through will be of little interest to Customs or MAF if it's not banned from entry. You will be best off speaking with MAF to get their views on it, and also Customs to see what they consider a reasonable quantity to justify that it's for personal use and not part of a business shipment.

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

  3. #3
    Cliff's Avatar
    Cliff is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Nelson, NZ
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    I used to do it. You just need to be sure nothing is prohibited that is contained in the vitamins.


    Nelson, New Zealand
    NZ Citizenship in 2000, been in NZ 15 years now
    Arrived NZ in 1997 from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    "New Zealand isn't just a physical place it is a state of mind."

  4. #4
    CrystalLil's Avatar
    CrystalLil is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2005
    Auckland, NZ


    Thanks for your replies, guys. The thing I want to buy (something called myo-inositol - a B vitamin) can be bought in NZ - although it's not widely available and it's very expensive! But seems to be cheap as chips in the states and available everywhere.

    I certainly don't want to end up getting a fine - but I was hoping it just wouldn't be of much interest to MAF/customs...I would probably only buy 2 or 3 250g containers of it at a time (just to get the best value from the shipping costs). Oh well, I might wait a bit longer to see what the Food Safety Authority have to say. Maybe I'll also contact MAF...

    Thanks again!


  5. #5
    kiwiguy is offline Member
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    Jun 2008


    One thing is that if the gst and or duty works out at under $50 they do not worry about collecting it so you should be fine on that count as long as you do not order to much

    Not sure about the maf part

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