Quarantine procedures

Because New Zealand relies heavily on its worldwide trade in agricultural products, we have to make sure that any pests and diseases that could threaten our agricultural and horticultural industries are kept out of the country. For that reason we have very strict biosecurity regulations and there are severe penalties for anyone who breaks the rules. People failing to declare biosecurity risk goods can receive an instant fine of $400, be fined up to $100,000 and/or face up to five years in prison.

This description was last updated on: Monday, 05 March 2012

Detailed information related to Quarantine procedures

It is illegal to import most foodstuffs. This could be something as simple as a piece of fruit, a sandwich, preserved sausage or a cheese snack. High risk items include fresh fruit and vegetables, egg cartons, all honey and bee products, straw, dried flowers, seeds, cane/bamboo/rattan items, pine cones, potpourri and other organic matter. 

Restricted items you must declare include feathers, bones, tusks, furs, skins, hunting trophies, stuffed animals and reptiles, unprocessed wool and animal hair, items made from animal skin (eg, crocodile handbags) and equipment used on animals including riding equipment. You will not be allowed to bring into New Zealand coral, clam, turtle and tortoise shells, products of endangered species or ivory in any form, unless you have a CITES certificate to allow you to do so.

You must also take care when importing wood products, golf clubs, sports equipment, camping gear and any other items such as shoes and boots that might have soil and dirt on them. Generally, all items that would normally be used outdoors will be examined to make sure they are free from soil and other contaminants. It is best to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned before entering the country. 

The items listed here represent the most common threats to New Zealand. But this list is not exhaustive. Go to prohibited and restricted items for more information.

This detail was last updated on Monday, 05 March 2012

Your Arrival Card – which you must fill in before entering the immigration area – has full details. Please complete it accurately. 

If in doubt, declare possibly illegal possessions to a Customs officer or a MPI Biosecurity officer, or dump them in one of the bins available at the airport. You will pass through Customs and MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) after you pick up your luggage and before you exit the immigration area 

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a heavy fine. As a result of these quarantine procedures, you should expect some delay on arrival.

For further information about quarantine and other restrictions go to Prohibited and restricted items or contact:

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
Phone: +64 4 894 0100

This detail was last updated on Wednesday, 13 June 2012