International Courier Paperwork Requirements

Much like you need a passport to travel overseas, overseas deliveries need paperwork to travel across borders. The paperwork requirements can seem a little daunting, so we’ve created this quick guide to help you through the process.

*Note: ePost has different paperwork requirements to our standard international courier service. Email our international helpdesk for more information on ePost paperwork specifically.

Firstly, the type of paperwork required depends on the sort of goods you intend to send or receive from overseas. If you’re unsure of which category your goods fall into, take a look at our documents/non-documents guide.

  • For sending documents you will need to complete a Air Waybill(on our online portal)
  • For sending non-documents you will need to complete a Air Waybill AND a Commercial invoice(on our online portal)

Completing an Air Waybill

(Required for all international consignments)

All International courier items require an Air Waybill to be created via our online portal. The bill or charge to your account will itemise the weight, destination, and Air Waybill type.

When completing a Air Waybill, you will need to include the following information:

Sender's contact details

  • Your New Zealand Couriers account number
  • Company / individual name
  • Address where the consignment is to be collected from; including City, Postal Code (if applicable), Region / State, and Country
  • Contact name (of the sender)
  • Contact telephone number (of the sender)

Receiver's contact details

  • Receivers' company / individual name
  • Receiver's address; including City, Zip / Postal Code, Region / State and Country*
  • Contact name (of the receiver)
  • Contact telephone number (of the receiver)

Description of goods

  • A general description of the items being shipped (e.g. 'sample' or 'gift' is not acceptable)
  • The number of packages
  • The weight of the individual packages
  • The dimensions of the individual packages
  • Consignment's value

Select the service

  • Indicate the service you want in the relevant box under Document or Parcel
  • Tick the appropriate box if you require Priority Service or International Express
  • Tick 'yes' or 'no' for dangerous goods (ensuring that it is not an item on our prohibited list)
  • If you require enhanced liability cover, tick the box and indicate the currency and content's value
  • Sign and date the Air Waybill

Completing a Commercial Invoice (Required for ‘non-document’ classified items)

A commercial invoice form must be completed for any non-document item and a value provided regardless if the shipment has no commercial value. Four copies of this form are required to be sent together with each New Zealand Couriers' international Air Waybill. 

Download our commercial invoice form

If you need any help with answering questions 4 and 5 on the form, you can call New Zealand Customs on 0800 4 CUSTOMS or if calling from overseas +64 9 300 5399.

When completing an consignment you will need to include the following information:

  • Receiver's full details including a contact name and telephone number
  • Record the Air Waybill number and the number of packages you are sending
  • Full description of the goods (e.g. 'sample' or 'gift' is not acceptable)
  • NZ Customs' Client Code (only required for shipments valued NZ$1000 or more)
  • Number of items enclosed
  • Unit value of each piece
  • Total value by product (i.e. the number of items x unit value)
  • Total invoice value of all items
  • Country from which the goods originated (i.e. where they were manufactured)
  • Reason for export (e.g. sale, repair or gift)
  • Write your company's name and address, print your name, sign and date

Additional Paperwork

If you are sending commodities such as food, food stuffs, animal products, soil samples, plant products, drugs, medical samples / supplies, tea, coffee, perishables and personal effects please contact our International Help Desk.

Commodities such as those above require additional paperwork in addition to the standard Air Waybill and commercial invoice. The type of additional paperwork required depends on what the commodity is and where it is being sent to.

Examples of additional paperwork include:

  • Certificate of Origin
  • Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Ingredients List
  • Animal Products E-cert
  • Power of Attorney
  • Letter of Indemnity

Items that cannot be sent (Prohibited and restricted commodities)

Certain destination countries prohibit or restrict certain commodities from entering or leaving their country. As a result, the freight item may not be able to travel via our standard courier service and may have to be sent via our Special Services channel. If you’re unsure of what may be required, we have a dedicated team of international professional ready to help you out! Please contact the International Help Desk by emailing or phoning 0800 655 010 for further information.

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