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Commercial ships and cruise liners

If you’re coming into New Zealand as an operator/owner of a commercial or cruise ship, you must contact us first.

We need to know:

  • who you have on board
  • what cargo and other items you have on board
  • who will be staying in NZ
  • who and what will be leaving NZ.

For COVID-19 information and guidance on the maritime sector please visit the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Maritime Sector webpage.

For information on isolation and quarantine processes at the maritime border please download and read this document.

Extended Notice of Arrival

The Extended Notice of Arrival (ENA) is an important document that all vessels coming into New Zealand will need to complete and send to us between 192 and 168 hours before arrival In New Zealand waters.

An ENA may be submitted outside these times if:

  • You will be at sea more than 192 hours before arrival and do not have the ability to transmit the ENA en route; or
  • You anticipate that your voyage will be shorter than 168 hours in duration.

In either case the ENA should be submitted upon departure from your last port of call before arriving in New Zealand.

The ENA form includes questions about vaccinations and testing, though neither vaccinations nor pre-departure testing are required at the maritime border.

The form can be downloaded and submitted to:

Advance notice of arrival

At least 48 hours before you arrive in NZ waters, you must send us:

You may also need to supply other government agencies with documentation, including:

Forms and information to assist you when arriving in New Zealand by cruise ship:

Note: the Passenger Arrival card is a sample only and cannot be presented to Customs or MPI staff.

Ports of entry

All commercial craft coming into NZ must report to a Customs port of entry.

You can arrive at a non-Customs port of entry only if:

  • it’s an emergency
  • you have written permission from Customs and MPI – you must organise this before you arrive in NZ.

When you arrive in New Zealand

If your craft is entering New Zealand for the first time, a Customs officer must clear you before anyone can leave the craft.

Your captain or vessel master will provide you with some information about the testing requirements you may face on arrival. Customs and MPI officers process your clearance. You must give us:

You must also give us the following passenger declarations:

  • Passenger Arrival Card – only passengers and/or crew who are permanently disembarking
  • a NZCS 337: Border Cash Report (DOC 332 KB) – if carrying more than $NZ10,000 in cash or equivalent.

Note: the Passenger Arrival Card is a sample only and cannot be presented to Customs or MPI staff.

If you’re on a commercial ship carrying cargo or not, any commercial vessel must also give us a completed Form C1: Inward report (PDF 291 KB) including:

  • last port clearance
  • controlled drugs and firearms list
  • stores list.

The completed Inward Report includes tugs, fishing vessels, survey vessels, cargo vessels in ballast etc.

You must give the following information to other agencies:

Ship stores

Ship stores include:

  • food
  • cleaning products
  • alcohol and tobacco
  • spares and service parts
  • bunkers
  • general provisions for passengers and crew.

You can add to your ship stores while you’re in NZ. If you want to load any duty-free alcohol or tobacco, you must have our permission.

Email: a completed NZCS 325: Requisition for Ships Stores (DOC 147 KB).

If you’re coming into NZ on a temporary import entry, you can only load duty-free items into your ship store as you’re about to leave NZ.

The amount you’re allowed is calculated as follows - your approved quota (see table below) x the number of crew and passengers x the length of the voyage – any duty-free alcohol or tobacco on board already.

The approved quota per person is:

  • beer – 6 cans or bottles per day (375ml or less per bottle/can), or
  • wine – 1 bottle (750ml) per day, and
  • spirits or liqueur – 3 bottles (1.125ml) per 10 days
  • cigarettes – 20 cigarettes per day or
  • tobacco – 250g per 10 days or
  • cigars – 5 (regardless of weight) every 10 days.

Cruise ships have different allowances. Contact your local Customs shipping office or local port agent for details.

When you leave New Zealand

You need a clearance certificate from us before you can leave NZ ports - Form C3: Certificate of clearance (ships and boats other than small craft) (DOC 263 KB).

To get clearance, you must give us advance notice of departure. The owner of the craft, or person in charge, are the only people who can sign this - Form C2: Advance notice of departure (ships and boats other than small craft) (DOC 148 KB).

You must also email passenger and crew information to

NZCS 355 and NZCS 342: Commercial Ships (XLS 173 KB)
NZCS 355 and NZCS 342: Cruise Ships (XLS 642 KB)

Passenger must complete:

Note: the Passenger Arrival Card is a sample only and cannot be presented to Customs or MPI staff.

You can only depart from an official port of entry. When you leave, you must go directly to the next place, listed on your certificate of clearance. You can’t call at any other NZ ports without getting our permission first unless there’s an emergency.

You must secure any firearms aboard.

We will usually clear cruise ship passengers at the port you’re leaving from.

If you need to be processed somewhere else, you must get our permission first. Contact our cruise vessel coordinator by:

Phone: +64 9 359 6620
Fax: +64 9 359 6692