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

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 form for any international sending services (except Economy Letters* International). This information needs to be shared in advance, to the destination postal administration and national government agencies (such as Customs) for purposes such as fiscal, risk, security and border clearance, 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 item, and EAD processes followed.

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

Once you have completed the Customs declaration form, your NZ Post store 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 arrives safely the first time, you must:

  • Write in English and BLOCK capitals
  • Make sure that all the information is entered in the correct field.
  • Write the sender and receiver names, addresses & phone numbers.
  • For each individual item within your parcel, add its weight*, quantity and value, as well as the total parcel weight.
  • For sending to a number of countries, you must provide at least the 6-digit tariff code for the item/s you are sending overseas. Ireland requires a 10-digit TARIC tariff code on items.
  • Provide an accurate and complete Goods Description.

* Individual item weight can be an estimate

A service fee 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 an NZ Post electronic lodgement system, you will see the service fee separately on your invoice.

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

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 electronically to the overseas postal service or organisation upon the completion of the transaction.

Sender, Receiver and Parcel Contents: EAD Requirements and Examples

When completing manual consignment notes or creating shipping labels via any NZ Post electronic lodgement tool, there are a few mandatory requirements to give your item the best chance to get 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 NZ postcode (as 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’.
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 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
Description of Contents Specific description of goods being sent:
  • Avoid product names
  • Ensure that your description is written in plain English
  • Be specific about materials 

Chocolate candies
Vitamin C chewable tablet
Woollen Jersey

× M&Ms
× Bio C® 1000 or Blackmores dietary supplement
× Clothing



Correct Incorrect
Catalogues, Annual Reports, Bill of lading, Blueprints, Business Cards, etc. Documents, Paperwork


Correct Incorrect
Men’s shirts, lingerie, girls’ vests, boys’ jackets Apparel
Blankets, medications Aid consignments
Refrigerators, stoves, microwave ovens, coffee machines Appliances
Automobile brakes, windshield glass for automobiles Auto parts
Pumps, seals, engines Machine parts
Metalworking machinery, cigarette-making machinery Machinery/Machines
Mineral oil, plant oil Oil
Plastic kitchenware, plastic houseware Plastic goods
Computers, televisions, CD players, tape recorders, mobile Electronics
Oil well equipment, poultry equipment Oil well equipment, poultry equipment Equipment
Iron and steel wire, copper wires Wires
Fish, Beverages, Milk Powder Foodstuffs
Dolls, remote-control cars Gifts
Plates, dishes, tablewear Household goods


HS Tariff Codes

What is an HS tariff Code?

Harmonised System (HS) tariff codes are an internationally standardised set of codes used to help classify what kind of products are being shipped internationally. This system also plays a vital role in taxation systems and controls.

A TARIC code is an EU standardised customs identifier containing ten digits. It is integrated into the 6-digit harmonised system (HS) code and is designed to show various rules, such as duty suspension, tariff quotas, applying to specific products when imported into the EU.

What you need to know

Customers must provide detailed and accurate descriptions of the items they intend to send overseas. Some countries require customers to use the correct corresponding 6-digit HS tariff code for the items they intend to send. The latest list of countries that require a HS Tariff Code is below. 

Please become familiar with this new process as items may be returned if these global customs requirements have not been met.

From 1 July 2023, the European Union (EU) will be following these new requirements strictly, requiring mandatory HS or TARIC codes for all parcels sent into EU countries. We expect to see more countries adopt a similar approach.

If the sending customer fails to provide a Tariff Code, NZ Post will endeavour to supply one, but accepts no liability for incorrect or inadequate declaration of goods or any consequences as a result.

How to classify goods

To find a HS tariff code, use the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Tariff Finder.

You can then find the 10-digit TARIC codes by visiting the European Commission Taxation and Customs Union.

Destinations which now require HS tariff codes – Update in June 2023

This list is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.

Name of Country and Territory
A - E Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia,
F- L Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg
M- R Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania
S - Z Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

* Irish Tax and Customs require a 10-digit TARIC code to be included in the Customs declaration.

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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 $3 (GST Zero rated) is included in the in-store price of sending Economy, Economy Plus, Courier and Express international services 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.

In circumstances where a HS tariff code hasn’t been provided for an item being sent to a European Union country, NZ Post will assign a tariff code based on the goods description provided by the sender, in order to avoid being returned/rejected or delays to shipment. Whilst NZ Post will endeavour to provide an appropriate HS Tariff Code(s) for your item(s), NZ Post accepts no liability for parcels that are returned to the customer due to the Tariff code or other required information being missed or incorrect.

You are however, required to declare an accurate, detailed and complete Goods Description of each item within your parcel such as ‘men’s cotton shirts’, child’s jigsaw puzzle of wood’.

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