Post & courier

International services

The New Zealand Government prohibits the export of various types of items. You need to ensure that your item is not one of them and that you meet any export restrictions on items that you do send.

For further information contact a Customs office or appropriate government authority, or go to Prohibited & restricted exports or Fact Sheet 4.

Country specific restrictions

Additional restrictions may be placed on items by other countries. Your local PostShop may be able to help you identify the additional restrictions for some countries. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your item is not prohibited or restricted in the country of its destination and you should check with the customs and/or quarantine authority of the country concerned.  Many of these organisations have informative websites.  

Your responsibility

It is your responsibility to ensure that any item you post out of the country is safe to send. While some prohibited items might appear harmless, they can easily become dangerous under certain conditions. Air pressure and temperature changes, for example, could cause a prohibited item to leak, ignite, or explode. 

Never assume that your item is not going to be transported by air at some stage. Except in rare circumstances, all international items travel by air for at least part of their journey.  

Generally, you cannot send anything in the post that is illegal, explosive, dangerous, destructive, inadequately packaged, or that contains cash. There are penalties for sending prohibited items out of the country by post or courier. 

All protected New Zealand objects, and all items listed in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations are unable to be exported by post or courier.

This description was last updated on: Thursday, 08 March 2012

Detailed information related to Post & courier

Items with an IATA (International Air Transport Association) dangerous goods classification include: 

  • Explosives (eg ammunition, fireworks, igniters, flares, toy caps).
  • Gases (eg aerosol cans, cigarette lighters, camping gas cylinders – full or empty, fire extinguishers).
  • Flammable liquids and flammable solids (eg paint, alcohol above 70 percent by volume, perfume, matches, petrol, kerosene, turpentine, solvents, cleaning fluids, nitrate products).
  • Oxidising substances and organic peroxides (eg hair dye, disinfectants, fibreglass repair kits).
  • Toxic (poisonous) and infectious substances.
  • Radioactive materials.
  • Corrosives (eg mercury – including thermometers, bleach, nail polish and remover, nitric acids, battery fluids).
  • Other goods that are highly magnetic, polymerisable or otherwise unsuitable for carriage (eg asbestos, dry ice, first aid kits, wet-cell batteries).

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012

  • Cash, currency, bullion or vouchers.
  • Live animals except for correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms and harmless insects.
  • Perishable items.
  • All drugs unless in prescription quantities and packaged correctly (additional restrictions apply for international services).
  • Illegal narcotic substances.
  • Firearms (including parts) and ammunition.
  • Human remains (including ashes).
  • Any item or consignment valued in excess of NZ$50,000.
  • Any noxious substance or thing, or any dead animal.
  • Any unsolicited indecent item or representation of any kind.
  • Any item containing anything that is capable, as packed, of causing injury to any person or damage to property.
  • Any inadequately packaged item.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 08 March 2012

Personal electronic devices, such as MP3 players and laptops, could accidentally be activated during transit and interfere with aircraft navigation, which is why batteries need to be removed. 

These items are prohibited and are not to be sent unless the specified conditions are met: 

  • Electronic/electric appliances and devices (batteries must be removed and wrapped separately). 
  • Personal electronic devices without removable batteries (eg MP3 players) can be mailed only if they do not have a transmit function or moving parts.
  • Lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries are prohibited for all international services with the exception of International Express Courier. Special packaging requirements must be met in accordance with IATA regulations for the International Express Courier service to be used.
  • IATA requirements for sending lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries are as follows:
    • The battery must be sufficiently wrapped and packaged separately within the parcel to withstand a 1.2m drop. This is the inside package.
    • If the battery is enclosed internally and cannot be removed (eg iPods), the whole item must be sufficiently wrapped and packaged separately within the parcel to withstand a 1.2m drop. This is the inside package.
    • The inside package must have a MAIL285 sticker or equivalent label attached.
    • The outer package must have a MAIL285 sticker or equivalent label attached.
    • MAIL285 stickers are available at PostShop stores.
  • Liquids not otherwise classed as dangerous, must be packaged in a way to ensure no leakage or breakage of the container. 
  • Radioactive substances in quantities exempted from the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and below the limits specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (eg domestic smoke alarms).

This detail was last updated on Friday, 09 March 2012

The following items must only be sent if they are packaged correctly and sent by signature required courier:

  • Poisons not classified as class 6.1 Dangerous Goods in the IATA Regulations.
  • Narcotic drugs (where allowable and if sent by an authorised organisation).
  • Perishable biological specimens and substances not classified as class 6.2 Dangerous Goods in the IATA Regulations. These items must be sent to a recognised laboratory, medical institution, medical practitioner or vet. These items must be packaged in accordance with "The Guideline for Packaging and Shipping of Infectious Substances" by the New Zealand Communicable Diseases Centre.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 15 April 2011

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