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New Zealand departure tax

Since February 2015 New Zealand is free from departure tax!

I am glad to announce that travellers will have less departure tax to pay in NZ airports in 2012 comparing with last year, so travel experience to New Zealand is getting less annoying. In the second half of 2011 Dunedin airport joined Auckland and Christchurch airports and replaced international departure fee passenger service charge (PSC) of NZ$12.78 each way which is now included in ticket price.

In 2012 Queenstown, Wellington and Palmerston North airports also wiped departure taxes.

In 2014 Hamilton airport become tax free. At least you don’t need to pay any additional taxes at airport and everything already included in ticket price.

Since February, 2015 Rotorua airport also stopped charging departure taxes at airport. It was last airport in New Zealand which was charging fees at the departure.

Here is table with current departure tax at airports in New Zealand:

Name of Airport Arrival fee NZ$ Departure fee NZ$ Where to pay
Auckland airport 12.50 12.50 included in ticket price
Christchurch airport 12.50 12.50 included in ticket price
Dunedin airport 12.78 12.78 included in ticket price
Hamilton airport 5 included in ticket price. There is no international flights, domestic only.
Palmerston North airport 8 included in ticket price
Queenstown airport ??? ??? included in ticket price
Rotorua airport 15.00 included in ticket price
Wellington airport ??? ??? included in ticket price

As you can see from this table your total payable tax can go up to NZ$37.50 if you are arriving to Christchurch (NZ$12.50 passenger services charge) and departing from Queenstown (NZ$25.00 departure fee). But if you are doing opposite your total taxes would be only NZ$12.50, i.e. arriving to Queenstown (NZ$0.00 passenger services charge) and departing from Christchurch(NZ$12.50 passenger services charge). For one person may be it is not big saving, but for families or frequent fliers it can make difference.

Also you should know that at Hamilton and Rotorua airports there is domestic departure tax too, not only international departure fee. You need to pay a NZ$5 departure fee on domestic services out of these airports.

UPDATE April, 2012. International Departure Fee is no longer applicable at Wellington Airport. If you have pre-purchased an International Departure Fee you can obtain a refund from Travelex at Wellington Airport by presenting your sticker.

UPDATE September, 2012. Somehow we missed this news but Queenstown Airport has wiped its NZ$25 international departure fee at the end of June. As airport chief executive said: “Removing the fee will greatly improve the experience international passengers have when leaving the airport.” He is so right!

UPDATE October, 2012. It looks like this year is tax cut year. From 1st of October passenger won’t need to pay NZ$5 domestic departure tax at Palmerston North Airport, but landing fee will be increased by NZ$3 and will be included in the ticket price, so Air New Zealand wasn’t happy about it.

UPDATE April, 2013. Talk about new departure tax in Christchurch started. Lets hope it will be only talk.

UPDATE April, 2014.There is no departure levy at Hamilton airport. All taxes are included in ticket price.

UPDATE February, 2015. No more departure taxes to pay at Rotorua airport. Read more here.


New departure tax in Christchurch airport?

Not so long ago existing international New Zealand departure tax of $NZ25 was wiped from Christchurch (CHC) airport. Everybody was glad about it. Of course these taxes didn’t disappear. You need to pay NZ$12.50 so called passenger services charge on inbound and outbound flights which totals $NZ25. But at least this service charge is included in your ticket price and you don’t need to worry about anything on your arrival to airport.

But last month talk about new taxes for Christchurch airport began. So previous Departure tax was renamed to Passenger Services Charge and now government wants introduce new Departure Tax ?

The idea comes from the Riccarton/Wigram Community Board in a submission on the city council’s draft three year plan.
Chairman Mike Mora says it could be a good way to help the coffers for the city’s rebuild.
Mr Mora says the international departure tax would be a good way to start, with perhaps $5 per passenger for the next five years.

For me it sounds just like increase of existing departure tax in Christchurch by $5 from $25 to $30. It probably will won’t stop there and will be increased after year or two as people (especially tourists) won’t have a choice not to pay it at airport.

Departure fee at Riga airport, Latvia

At least once a year I am in transit at Riga airport to Middle East countries, so I didn’t notice they have some departure fees to pay at airport. This departure tax applies only to Ryanair passengers who has direct flights from Riga airport (RIX).
Up to 1st of January, 2012 the security function at Riga airport was financed from the state government, but as of 1st of January 2012 this fee was included into ticket price, but Ryanair didn’t agree to do that so passengers must to pay this security charge at airport.

A fee of 7€ must be paid before departure while checking at Riga airport or in the Ryanair ticket office at Riga Airport, or at “Welcome to Riga!” office located in arrivals sector E, or it can be paid on internet by credit card. Check RIX airport website for the latest information regarding this fee.