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I've been living in New Zealand for about three years. Every time I go visit my home country I take the opportunity to bring to NZ some things I left there.

It's been mostly books, small household items, clothes, but now I want to start moving some old family items that I think could be considered antiques: silverware, tableware, ornaments, figurines.

I don't believe these items have significant money value but they are very dear to me. I'm willing to risk dispatching them in my luggage (and take some with me in my hand luggage) because I don't have money to use a moving company.

So,

  1. is there a safer/better way to do this, but still cheap?

  2. Do I have to declare these items? How is Customs supposed to know if I'm moving my personal items and not smuggling antiques?

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    It might be worth mentioning which country you're moving from as well. – Tim Malone Jun 5 '16 at 5:09