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Important message for Importers of COVID-19 tests

01.11pm 17 February 2022

Key Points

  • Only Ministry of Health approved Point of Care (includes RATs) tests can be imported or used in New Zealand except as exempted
  • From 27/02/2022 persons entering New Zealand may bring with them up to 20 Point of Care tests of any type
  • This “accompanying luggage exemption” does not apply to any other import stream
  • List of approved tests available on Ministry of Health website

The Restriction

Importers and their agents are reminded of the current restrictions in place on the import, use, sale, supply and distribution of Point of Care COVID-19 tests. Point of Care (POC) tests include but are not limited to Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). Rapid antibody tests and some molecular tests are also covered. The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Point-of-care Tests) Order 2021 provides the definition of “point of care test” and the legal restrictions.

The "Accompanying Luggage" Exemption

From 23:59 27/02/2022 persons entering New Zealand by air or sea may bring with them up to 20 individual Point of Care tests of any sort (the “accompanying luggage exemption”).

These tests need to have been lawfully supplied to them overseas, and travel as “accompanying luggage” (ie. with the person on the same journey).

The exemption authorises the person bringing the tests into New Zealand to use these tests.

It does not authorise the sale, packing or supply of these unauthorised tests.

Note, maximum number exemption applies to individual tests, not “packs” containing multiple tests.

Which POC tests can be imported?

Only tests authorised by the Ministry of Health may be imported into New Zealand, unless the importation is covered by the "accompanying luggage exemption". Approved tests are listed in the Gazette Notice issued by Health, and are also listed on the Ministry of Health website. The website listing will be updated should further tests be added. Importers are advised to check this site before placing an order for any tests.

Who can import?

There are no restrictions on who can import the authorised tests. Under no circumstances can unauthorised/unapproved tests be imported, except by "accompanying luggage exemption", even if intended for personal use..

Tests imported which do not comply with these requirements are unlawful imports and may be seized.

Any questions on these restrictions? Please email COVID-19 Point of Care Tests Order

Published: 28 February 2022