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Bike Importing

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Lonwheels, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Lonwheels

    Lonwheels n00b

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    Hi all, just wondering if anyone knows the ins and outs of bringing a bike in from the States? Also if on down the road I decided to sell it, then get another one, is there a time limit for how long I must own the first one. I've attempted to trawl through the nz customs website - a long and arduous journey - but so far no joy. I'd appreciate any info, thanks.
    #1
  2. kiwipeet

    kiwipeet Uber Cyber Loafer

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    Start here: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicle/importing/index.html

    There is a difference between importing temporarily vs permanently.

    For a temporary import you can get a Carnet. You pay a bond (the equivalent to the value of GST.) and can keep the bike in the country for 1 year, if you sell the bike or do not remove it, you forfiet the bond.

    If you import permanently GST is charged on the purchase price of the bike plus the cost of freight including insurance.

    If you have owned the bike for 12 months or more before importing it, you can avoid the GST. The amount is pro-rated if you've owned for less than 12 months.

    If you have paid for the importation, there is no obligation or restriction on you to stop you from selling it.

    In both cases the bike must meet the roadworthy standards in NZ.

    For a permanent import you will need to register the bike. To do this you will need the brakes inspected and certified. If it has been accident damaged it will need to be inspected by a certified inspector that the repairs are up to standard.

    Be warned there are lots of little fees and costs along the way bringing a bike in. In addition to the freight price, I also had port handling fees, MAF clearance, Customs, Brake certification, Repair inspection, Registration of a new vehicle, Rego, WoF.
    #2
  3. Lonwheels

    Lonwheels n00b

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    Thanks for your response, I will look into this info. I'm hoping to initially bring in a smaller bike, and have a contact who can organise crating and shipping. Then in a year or so if all goes well, I can look into getting a bigger one.
    #3
  4. kiwipeet

    kiwipeet Uber Cyber Loafer

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    No probs, All I can say is do your sums first.

    For an average priced bike (say about $10K), expect to pay about $1500-2000 on top of your freight price to get it off the docks, through the legal process and on the road.

    Unless the bike is rare, has personal significance or sentimental value, or is an absolute bargain compared to NZ prices you have seriously question the benefit of doing this.

    I'm curious about the type of bike you're interested in too... because for comparison you can buy a new Harley cheaper in NZ than in the US.

    Parts however is another story.
    #4
  5. Lonwheels

    Lonwheels n00b

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    Yikes! I didn't realise it would be that much extra on top of shipping.
    Definitely not worth it for a smaller bike then, and I was thinking eventually about bringing either a Harley or Duc in, thinking surely they'd be cheaper over there even with the exchange rate. But cheaper in NZ? Ok, so back to the drawing board for me.
    Thanks so much for your help, I appreciate it! Cheers
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  6. kiwipeet

    kiwipeet Uber Cyber Loafer

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    In some case it may be, but check out the values first and do the sums.

    e.g GST on a 10K bike @ 15% = $1500. but also factor freight to be about $1500-2000 and insurance $300-500 and you have to pay GST on those as well... So add another ~$300

    If you're only making (or saving) a few hundred dollars you'd have to wonder if it's worth the grief.

    If you can find a deal on a bike you want for $4/5/6k less than it's comparative NZ value then yeah why not. :dunno
    #6
  7. Lonwheels

    Lonwheels n00b

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    Yes, true ... hmmm deals like that don't come along every day but I'll keep a look out
    Thanks again for your help!
    #7
  8. OneAUout

    OneAUout Adventurer

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    "Be warned there are lots of little fees and costs along the way bringing a bike in. In addition to the freight price, I also had port handling fees, MAF clearance, Customs etc." I have brought in 3 bikes from the UK over the years. Value between $6,000 and $10,000 NZ. Each time the cost came out around $3,000. If it wasn't GST, it was shipment to port at point of origin. So allow at least this mount.

    I have found that getting a dealer to package the bike at their own leisure saved costs. In once case I was bringing in a 1988 BMW so the dealer waited for a new bike to come into the shop, saved the new bike's box and packaging and then when he had a quiet day, had the lads in his service dept pack up my bike. Saved a few $ and got the bike beautifully prepared.
    #8
  9. kiwipeet

    kiwipeet Uber Cyber Loafer

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    Yeah we did something similar. We got Jess's VTR crated in Aussie at the Peter Stevens distribution warehouse where they have loads of crates. It only cost us about $150.

    The other thing to think about is MAF inspection, if the vehicle is not spotless they will have it cleaned at your expense. It's a bit random, I bought a bike in that was minging filthy and they let it through. Yet my brother got pinged bringing in a pallet of rims and tyres that had been already meticulously water blasted.

    Yesterday I heard of a guy bringing in a British tank, MAF demanded the engine be removed for inspection and cleaning which cost him about $10K. :eek1

    I think regarding the OP's question if you're doing it for money, it's about economies of scale. I know a guy who bought a Chevy wagon in squeezed 3 bikes in the back. One was a VTR250 which he picked up for $150, at the time it was worth $3000 in NZ. The money he made on the 3 bikes paid for the whole lot.

    If you brought in a container load of bikes, you spread the cost of freight, customs and MAF inspection across 20-odd bikes. The guys who creamed it in the late 80's/early 90's were buying container loads of damaged and 2nd hand bike's in Japan for a few hundred dollars when they were worth thousands in NZ...

    Do the maths. Rough numbers: $5k worth of bikes, $5k container freight, $5K MAF,Customs = $15k. Sell 20 bikes x $4K = $80 -> $65K margin.

    $65k...

    Siiiiiixttyyyy fiiiiiiiveeeee kkkkkk

    :hmmmmm
    #9
  10. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    But then you have to find someone to buy them. Heaps of bikes out there at the mo & they'renot selling fast
    #10
  11. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    Happy 1,000th post!
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  12. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    What else do they look for in terms of inspections? For example, I have a 2008 KTM Adventure 990, which is EFI, and had catalytic converters on the stock exhaust. I;ve replaced the stock cans and cats with a 2-into-1 from Black Dog Cycle Works, so the catalytic converters are obviously not intact. Furthermore, I have a second fuel tank from Adventuretank, that is not *technically* DOT certified to carry fuel, at least here in the US.

    How much trouble would they give me for bringing this bike in as it sits, assuming everything else was in good repair(brakes, etc.)? I have the stock exhaust and cans and cats, and can convert it back if need be, too...but of course I'd rather not.

    Is there a radical difference in enforcement/inspection say, between Auckland and Dunedin? Or N. island vs S island, for that matter?

    Lastly(for now), I have HID conversions in both low and high beams of the headlight, along with the Euro headlight shell(read: larger beam area). How likely would they be to catch that during inspection and how would I find out if it were legal to have on the bike in the first place?


    I'm looking to move there with my girlfriend, who will be doign post-doctoral work in Auckland and Dunedin for ~2 years. I may or may not hold a job for the time I'm there, due mostly to the move she has to make in the middle of the two years as a result of her research(studying plants, seasonal, etc.)


    Fantastic information here, subscribed! THANKS to everyone.
    #12
  13. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    For a temporary import the inspection is not too bad, do the lights work, wheel bearings, brake pads etc. To get it certed & vinned for a permanent import is more involved, you may need to change the headlight for one that dips to the left & they may not like the HID's. Not sure on the cans, check the LTNZ link above for more details.

    The VTNZ inspectors are mostly fairly clueless about bikes, not sure if there would be much difference Sth-Nth, it really depends on the guy you get on the day. If anything in the LTNZ info is unclear I would email the inspection centre you plan to use & get it straight from them.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #13
  14. Lonwheels

    Lonwheels n00b

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    Completely agree, awesome info, thanks everybody for putting your time into replying!

    :thumb :thumb
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  15. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    On the advice provided in this thread, and after a bunch of further research, I've pretty much concluded that the sentimental value of taking my US bike to NZ is not worth it. I will lose money either way.


    Bummer, but not as much of a bummer as losing so much cash to the docs and etc. Also, the bike was going to be an Adventure 990, which is not really a suited to NZ for any sort of backcountry fun as something smaller and single-cyl. Thanks for all of your advice again, it was a great place to start!
    #15
  16. kiwipeet

    kiwipeet Uber Cyber Loafer

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    Mate, a 990 is great bike to have in NZ. I can't think of anything better, (but then again I suffer from orange lust)

    Depending on your circumstance... i.e if you have owned the bike for more than 12 months, (then you will not pay GST.), If you clean the bike thoroughly (to minimise MAF fees), and can freight it with your belongings in a container (to reduce the price) then it'll only cost you a few hundred to get it into the country.

    You'll still have to have it certified and registered, another few hundred. Assuming the above.. factor the total cost to be under $1000NZ.

    If you love the bike, it's in good mechanical condition and you want to keep it for years to come, then it's probably worth it. If you're going to the trouble of freighting your personal belongings, adding the bike, isn't a big additional inconvenience.

    If you're not the sentimental type and were considering selling it anyway... it's always easier to move money between countries than an 8 foot crate.
    #16
  17. hilslamer

    hilslamer 2XRedheadedstepchild

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    All true points. And, while I am not generally a sentimental person, motorcycles, vehicles and tools are my true materialist weaknesses. The scenario is that right now, my Adventure is the ONLY thing I owe money on - I financed it as a credit builder back when it was new with 20% down(I don't own a house or maky mortgage payments, or keep a creditcard in the hole, so it's the only way I could justify keeping my likeness on the credit card companies' radar & ratings...) and have been making only $20 over minimums for just that reason. I could pay it off right now I guess but that wouldn't put me as having owned it for 12 months when I foresee leaving for NZ.

    I have been trying to find an economical way to freight my tools & toys(tools, bicycles) down there - not many, but some(and I know how to pack tight) - can you recommend a freight company that would only be a few hundred? Most quotes I find are ~$1300US...I don't need fast(can be sea cargo), just that it gets there.

    Thanks for the insight!
    #17