Cruise ship operators
This guidance covers the requirements for cruise ship operators arriving and departing New Zealand.
- Mandatory documents to complete
- Ports where cruise ships can berth
- Ship stores
- Immigration requirements
- When you leave New Zealand
For information about travelling to New Zealand as a passenger on a cruise ship, visit Travelling to New Zealand on a cruise ship.
Update – There has been a change to the arrivals process for cruise ships entering New Zealand.
For cruise ships, the new ‘Form 18 - Crew (Temporary Arrivals – Cruise) Form’ replaces the previous crew declarations (‘Form 6: Customs individual (NZ domiciled) crew declaration’ and ‘Form 7: Customs individual (non-NZ domiciled) crew declaration’).
This form must be completed by every cruise ship crew member who is temporarily arriving in New Zealand and will remain with the cruise ship when it next departs New Zealand.
There is no change for cruise crew who are permanently disembarking in New Zealand – a Passenger Arrival Card must be completed by these travellers.
If you’re coming into New Zealand as a master/operator/owner of a cruise liner, you must provide specific information to Customs.
You need to tell us certain information including:
- who you have onboard
- what cargo and other items you have onboard
- who will be staying in New Zealand
- who and what will be leaving New Zealand.
The following mandatory forms must be completed in full with the correct information and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org within the specified timeframes as listed below.
Documentation should be supplied in the following accepted formats:
.jpg (photographs accepted if content is legible).
1. Complete the Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA) for all vessels travelling to New Zealand required under the Customs and Excise Act 2018
The Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA) form (DOC 342 KB) needs to be completed by the owner/master of the vessel and sent to us at least 48 hours before arrival in New Zealand territorial waters – 12 nautical miles.
The ANA is a legal requirement and the owner/master is liable for prosecution for not submitting the ANA in the required timeframe and for not providing the ANA in the specified form and manner.
Provide details of crew and passengers as part of the ANA
The owner/master of the vessel must provide details of crew and passengers on board the vessel including names and passport information using the Cruise ship form below. The form must be completed and sent to us at least 48 hours before arrival in New Zealand territorial waters – 12 nautical miles.
- NZCS 355 and NZCS 342: Cruise Ships (XLS 642 KB)
2. Complete the Inward Report required under the Customs and Excise Act 2018
The Inward report (PDF 291 KB) is to be completed by the owner/master of the vessel and provides information in relation to the vessel, its travel movements, any cargo, firearms, controlled drugs/medicines, stores, and passengers and crew on board. The form must be completed in respect of all vessels and within 24 hours of arriving at a Customs place and provided to Customs at the port.
3. Complete the crew declarations required under the Customs (Arriving Passenger and Crew Declarations) Rules 2018
The relevant crew declaration must be completed:
- Form 18 Crew (Temporary Arrivals - Cruise) Form (PDF 240 KB): this form must be completed by every cruise ship crew member who is temporarily arriving in New Zealand will remain with the cruise ship when it next departs New Zealand.
- Passenger Arrival Card (PDF 45 KB): this form will be provided on arrival and must be completed by cruise crew who are permanently disembarking in New Zealand.
Customs and MPI will attend the vessel, by arrangement, where the passenger or crew member is permanently disembarking the vessel.
Note: this Passenger Arrival card is a sample only and cannot be presented to Customs or MPI staff.
4. Complete the No Change of Health Status form required under the Health Act 1956
The Master of the vesselmust complete the 'No Change of Health Status' form (DOC 45 KB) 12-24 hours before arrival into New Zealand. This is a notice to confirm the health status aboard your vessel following your earlier ‘New Zealand Advance Notice of Arrival’ form. Complete this form and send to the Port Health Authority (Public Health Service).
5. Complete the Border Cash Report is required under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (if applicable)
The Border Cash report must be completed if anyone is carrying NZ$10,000 or more cash (or foreign equivalent) into or out of New Zealand.
The printed form is to be completed by relevant individuals on board - NZCS 337: Border Cash Report (DOC 332 KB) or, on condition of acceptance by a Customs officer, the online Border Cash Report form.
Note: the online Border Cash Report form can only be completed within 72 hours of your travel to New Zealand.
You may also need to supply other government agencies with documentation.
All cruise ships coming into New Zealand must nominate and arrive at a Customs port of entry.
Customs ports where cruise ships can berth are:
- Port Taranaki (New Plymouth)
- Port Otago (Dunedin)
- Port of Tauranga (Tauranga Container Terminal)
- Port of Tauranga (Mount Wharf)
- CentrePort (Wellington)
- Port Nelson
- Ports of Auckland
- Northport (Marsden Point near Whangarei)
- Lyttelton Port
- Port of Napier
- Eastland Port (Gisborne)
- South Port (Bluff)
- Prime Port (Timaru)
- Port Marlborough (Picton)
You can arrive at a non-Customs port of entry only if:
- It’s an emergency, or
- You have written permission from Customs. You must have this permission prior to arriving in New Zealand.
Similar requirements must be met for MPI. Visit MPI's webpage Places of first arrival in New Zealand.
Ship stores include:
- cleaning products
- alcohol and tobacco
- spares and service parts
- general provisions for passengers and crew.
You can add to your ship stores while you’re in New Zealand. If you want to load any duty-free alcohol or tobacco, you must have our permission.
If you’re coming into New Zealand on a temporary import entry, you can only load duty-free items into your ship store as you’re about to leave New Zealand.
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.
Unlike at the air border, travellers on certain vessels arriving by the maritime border are deemed under New Zealand immigration law to have a 28-day visa. These certain vessels include cruise ships, cargo ships and Antarctic research vessels. However, travellers on these vessels may still need to hold an NZeTA. Travellers on other vessels may still be required to apply for and hold a current visa.
Passengers who are not New Zealand or Australian passport holders need a current visa or NZeTA to enter New Zealand. For more information visit immigration.govt.nz.
You need a certificate of clearance from Customs before you can leave New Zealand ports - Form C3: Certificate of clearance (all ships and boats other than small craft) (DOC 263 KB).
To get clearance, the person in charge of the craft must give Customs advance notice of departure not less than 4 hours before intended time of departure. The owner of the craft, or person in charge, or agent, 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 email@example.com.
- NZCS 355 and NZCS 342: Cruise Ships (XLS 642 KB)
You can only depart from a designated Customs port. When you leave, you must depart immediately and not go to any other place within New Zealand unless you have Customs permission or there is an emergency.
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:
Vessel Management Framework
The Vessel Management Framework was initially developed for Cargo and Commercial vessels when the Maritime Border was closed due to COVID-19. Find out about how it continues to be a useful tool on our Vessel Management Framework webpage.