Import Rules, Regulations, Policies & Procedures
To Import Japan Used Cars In New Zealand

Check all the key points related to import rules, regulations, policies, documentations, duties and taxes, inspections, restrictions, shipping ports, etc. which you should keep in mind while importing Used Cars from Japan to New Zealand

Year Restriction

Not Earlier Than 2005

Destination Port

Auckland, Lyttelton, Nelson

Time of Shipment

RoRo (14-24 Days)

Vessel Schedule

RoRo (Monthly)

Shipping Line

COSCO Shipping Lines Ltd, Armacup Maritime Service



Used Car Import Rules & Regulations in New Zealand


Age Restriction

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.


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.

JEVIC Inspection an important tool for used car Importers in New Zealand

Used Cars Import Duties And Taxes In New Zealand

Duties & Taxes

Used Cars Import Documentation in New Zealand


Entry Certification

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

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.

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:

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. See examples of the certificates below.

Regulation Fuel type
Petrol, CNG, or LPG
Japan 05
Those complying with the 2005 Regulations
Those displaying a three-digit emissions code (eg ‘ABA’, ‘CBA’, ‘DBA’, ‘DAA’, ‘LDA’, ‘ZAA’)

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

Evidence of compliance with emissions 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.

For cars (class MA)

Cars that are not mini-sized comply if they:

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

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

If your class MB or class MC vehicle 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 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:

Evidence you can present

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

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 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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Avoid Frauds While Buying Used Cars from Japan

Japan is known for their High Quality Used Cars & Vehicles Exported Worldwide.
At we have hundreds of Trusted Dealers with more than 30 years of experience in used cars export industry.

But due to some Fake & Fraud companies the name of all dealers get spoiled.  Make sure to double check the company with before any deal to avoid being a victim of fraudsters…..