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New Zealand – Customs Regulations


Those arriving in New Zealand are required to make a declaration to the New Zealand Agricultural authorities using an Agricultural Quarantine Form. Animals, plants, fruit or vegetable products must be declared, as well as whether they have recently visited any farming or forest areas. Travellers must also declare golf clubs, sporting and camping equipment.

Those arriving from countries suffering from certain diseases affecting livestock or plants (e.g. foot and mouth disease) may be required to have items of clothing and produce disinfected, and plants either quarantined or destroyed. Visitors are advised to keep all their shoes in one suitcase, since these items are often disinfected by the authorities.

At the port of arrival all containers are cleared and unpacked or they can travel directly to your new home for unloading if arranged by your moving company. Cane or rush furniture may be taken by the New Zealand quarantine department for treatment; other items will also be inspected. Inspection costs are only payable on items inspected.

The following items are restricted, prohibited or subject to quarantine examination:

• All foodstuffs, especially animal products including dairy produce and eggs. Remember that food given to you on the plane also falls into this category.
• Animal products, including ornaments, clothing made from skins, stuffed animals and equipment used with animals e.g. saddles etc.
• Plant products, seeds, fruit and vegetables are all restricted.

On arrival to New Zealand you will be given a Passenger Arrival Card to declare any items you are bringing into the country that may be prohibited or restricted. If you have any questions or doubts, airline employees can often assist you or you can wait to ask a Customs Official. It is always best to declare anything you are unsure about. If an item is restricted, prohibited or subject to quarantine examination as long as you have declared it you will avoid fines and potential prosecution (unless possessing that item is against NZ law such as illegal drugs).


The importation of firearms is strictly controlled and requires a Police permit. Sporting guns must be registered with the Police on the visitor’s arrival. The importation of certain types of weapons such as flick knives, swordsticks and knuckle-dusters is prohibited.

Other prohibited goods include ivory in any form, coral, turtle or tortoise shell products.

No food, either fresh or processed may be imported undeclared. The same applies to plants and seeds.