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New Zealand

Shipping Ports

Vehicle can be shipped from any port in Japan to all major Ports in New Zealand such as Auckland, Dunedin, Lyttleton, Welington.




Age Restrictions

As per new guidelines, vehicle must not be manufactured before 2006 which means that the vehicle should not be more than 8 years old from the date of manufacturing while it is imported in New Zealand. Exceptions in the rules are granted if the vehicle imported is a 'special interest' vehicle or the vehicle has been registered in buyers name in Japan.

Emission Standards

Vehicles must meet up with the emission standards described by New Zealand government as per their class. Testing can be conducted by only approved testing stations.

Inspection Required

  • JEVIC and Quarantine service (MAF Biosecurity) inspection are required to be done in Japan before importing the Car in New Zealand from Japan.

  • Used vehicles from Japan, before being used should pass through Biosecurity clearance as they can carry a number of biosecurity contaminants, including high risk pest species like Lymantria dispar (Asian gypsy moth). This is done with the objective to determine the nature and quantity of slippage. The measures specified by the current Import Health Standard are adequate for 31% of used vehicles imported (6% that are uncontaminated and 25% that have only visible contamination). The remaining used vehicles imported either has contaminated air filters and/or may have contamination that cannot be seen with visual inspection.


Documents Required while importing vehicle in New Zealand

  • Copy of Passport.

  • Copy of relevant visas/permits for immigrants.

  • Registration/Ownership/ deregistration certificate from Japan (original and certified English copy).

  • Original Invoices showing, Export (FOB Japan) costs and Freight costs and marine insurance costs to NZ.

  • Bill of Lading having Odometer readings both at time of sale for export to NZ and at time of importation into NZ.

  • Proof of continues ownership such as insurance certificate or vehicle license document.

  • New Zealand Customs Client Code Application.


Entry Certification

  • An entry certified process is carried out before the imported used vehicle from Japan can be used. The process of certification invloves:"

  • Checking whether or not the vehicle meet up the required safety emissions and frontal impact standards. Also carrying out an inspection to test vehicle condition.

  • Deciding whether the vehicle needs any rectification and/or specific certification in order to meet legal safety requirements.

  • Certifying whether or not vehicle meets safety and emission requirements.

  • Verifying the legal owner of the vehicle.

  • If you're importing a used vehicle from Japan you must provide evidence that it meets a range of approved standards before it can be registered for use on the road.


Proof of ownership:

  • You need to provide evidence that you're the legal owner of the vehicle. This includes the original documents that prove previous registration and provide an ownership trail that goes back to the last registered owner in the country where the vehicle was last registered.

  • Motorcycles over 250cc: You need to provide the original certificate of return vehicle inspection certificate issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)

  • Small motorcycles (250cc or less, over 125cc): the original mini-vehicle notification certificate – confirmation of return issued by Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association

  • Smaller than 125cc: You need to provide the original notification of dismantlement issued by a city office in Japan


Passenger vehicles:

  • Passenger vehicles excluding mini-vehicles: the original export certificate (with a type designation number (TDN) and a model code) issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) or completion inspection certificate.

  • Mini-vehicles (660cc or less, Kei-Jidosha): You need to provide the original export certificate issued by Light Motor Vehicle Inspection Organisation

  • All other vehicles: You can use an original export certificate issued by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) or a completion inspection certificate.


Alternatively, for heavy vehicles, you need to provide:

  • The original detailed registration history certificate issued by MLIT, which includes full history details of the previous owners in Japan, and

  • Original documents to establish an ownership trail, eg the detailed registration history certificate, bill of sale, purchase receipts.

  • In some cases certified English translations of documents not in English may be required.


Evidence of compliance with emissions standards

  • Used and parallel-imported new vehicles, for both you can present an original Japanese export or completion inspection certificate showing one of the applicable emissions code character sets at the beginning of the industry model code. 

  • Alternatively, a statement of compliance that includes an approved emission standard is acceptable proof that your vehicle meets New Zealand requirements.


Impact standards

  • If your vehicle is Class MA, MB, or MC, you must prove that it was manufactured to meet an approved frontal impact standard. Depending on the date of manufacture you can provide proof of its compliance using.

  • An export certificate with a type designation number (TDN). A TDN has five digits, and is also referred to as a type approval number (see examples of certificates above, circled in blue) or

  • A completion inspection certificate


For cars (class MA)

  • Some vehicles that comply are noted on our frontal impact lists. These lists include vehicles manufactured during 1994–1996 when frontal impact standards were being developed. They, therefore, apply mainly to used imports. If the list says your vehicle does not meet a frontal impact standard, then you cannot bring it into New Zealand.

  • Mini-sized cars (under 660cc) from Japan comply if they were manufactured on or after 1 July 2000.

  • Cars that are not mini-sized comply if they:

  • Were manufactured on or after 1 January 1996 in Japan, for the Japanese market or

  • Were manufactured outside Japan on or after 1 April 1999 and were accepted through Japan's vehicle approval process.

  • You may not have to prove your vehicle complies with frontal impact standards if:

  • It is more than 20 years old

  • It is a 'special interest' vehicle

  • You're emigrating or returning to New Zealand and bringing your vehicle with you.


For 4x4, SUV, and forward control vans (classes MB and MC)

  • If your class MB or class MC vehicle was manufactured after 1 October 2003 it must meet a frontal impact standard. The exception is if you are emigrating or returning to New Zealand and bringing your car with you. If the vehicle manufactured in Japan for the Japanese market on or after 1 October 2003, it will meet a frontal impact standard accepted in New Zealand.


Evidence of compliance with fuel consumption information requirements

  • You can use an online tool to provide fuel consumption compliance information, if:

  • You have an export certificate or completion inspection certificate.

  • You will then get a fuel consumption certificate, which you take to the entry certifier.

  • Some Japan used vehicles manufactured from the year 2018 onwards are unable to provide all the necessary fuel consumption information and will need a Rule exemption from the Transport Agency.


Evidence of compliance with heavy-vehicle brakes standards

  • Must check for compliance with one of the approved brake standards if you want to import heavy vehicles of class MD3, MD4, ME, NB, or NC, no matter what date the vehicle was manufactured. See the detailed information about how to prove compliance with an approved brake standard in the following sections of the Vehicle inspection requirements manual – entry certification:

  • Brakes: 8–1 Service brake and park brake

  • Technical bulletin 31 – Brakes standard compliance.


Evidence of overall standards compliance

  • You need to prove your car meets all applicable New Zealand standards, which depend on the date of manufacture. One way to do this is to get a statement of compliance.


Evidence you can present

  • As an alternative to a statement of compliance, you can use:

  • An export certificate issued by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT)

  • Completion inspection certificate.

  • Class MC vehicles entering New Zealand on or after 1 March 2016 must also be fitted with an electronic stability control (ESC) system.


Kai mark

  • Check the certificate for a kai mark like this Kai mark. After the model code. This indicates that the vehicle has been modified and may no longer meet the required standards. We strongly suggest that you check with an entry certifier to make sure that the vehicle complies with required standards.

  • Your vehicle export certificate or completion inspection certificate must include a type designation number (TDN). If there's no TDN on the certificate, you'll need to get a statement of compliance or apply for a TDN exemption through the entry certifier.


Applying for an Exemption to Fuel Consumption Information Requirements

  • The Transport Agency is aware that some imported used vehicles manufactured in Japan from 2018, that have been tested for fuel consumption using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), may not be able to meet all the requirements of the Fuel Consumption Information Rule.

  • If you are importing a used Japanese vehicle that was tested using WLTP and when you use the online tool it does not show values but ‘no data recorded’ in any of the fields on the fuel consumption certificate, you should apply to the Transport Agency for an exemption, as this vehicle will not be able to be entry certified. The Transport Agency is not charging a fee for these exemption applications.

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