- Start importing
- Prohibited and restricted imports
- Import animals
- Commercial ships and cruise liners
- Lodge your import entry
- Valuation for import
- Preferential tariff duty rates
- Customs rulings
- Customs exchange rates
- Import payments and refunds
- Deferred accounts for importers
- Deferred accounts for brokers
- Import forms and documents
- What is excise?
- Apply for a licence
- Lodge your excise entry
- Claim excise duty remission or refund
- Pay excise duty and other charges
- Apply for excise duty credit or drawback
- Moving excisable items
- Changing, suspending or cancelling your licence
- Amend, surrender or transfer your licence
- Change your entry or payment timeframe
- Excise forms and documents
- Advice for exporters, importers and businesses
- Movement of goods
- Customs duties
- Excise clients
- Goods clearance fees deferral
- Lodging of Import Declarations
- Movement of critical supplies
- NZ Maritime Border Controls
- Permits and Carnets
- Point of Care test kits
- Public counters
- Tariff Concessions
- Trade enquiries
COVID-19 update: New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 1 except for Auckland which is at Alert Level 2. Travel restrictions are in place at the border. There are no restrictions on the movement of freight. Visit the COVID-19 section of this website, or the official COVID-19 website, for more information.
Hazardous substances import controls
You need approval to import hazardous substances.
Controls on importing hazardous substances
The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 controls the import of hazardous substances into New Zealand.
If you import hazardous substances without HSNO approval, we may seize them and/or re-export them at your cost.
Hazardous substances are substances that are
- explosive, eg fireworks
- flammable, eg fuels and solvents
- oxidisable, eg peroxides
- corrosive, eg acids
- toxic, eg some industrial chemicals
- ecotoxic, eg pesticides and oils.
Substances can be in their pure form, or made into a product, to count as hazardous under the HSNO Act.
If the substance you’re importing doesn’t already have HSNO approval, you must get it before you import the substance. You may need to give us or other agencies the approval number.
Note: Raw asbestos does not have HSNO approval. You must apply to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) if you want to import it.
Import permits for some hazardous substances
You need an import permit for:
- explosives, including fireworks
- polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and children’s crayons, finger- and watercolour paints (you must enter the code MOH and the permit number on the Customs import entry)
- persistent organic pollutants (POPs) covered by the Stockholm Convention (you must show us your approval to import).
Label your items
Clearly label any hazardous substances you’re importing with:
- what they are
- what hazardous substances they contain.
Items not covered by the HSNO Act
You do not need an HSNO approval to import:
- manufactured items containing hazardous substances, including cars, electronics and machinery
- substances whose hazardous properties are below certain levels
- ready-to-eat food
- human medicines
- infectious substances
- radioactive substances.
It’s your responsibility to find out whether something you’re importing falls under the HSNO Act or not.
If you’re not sure, contact the EPA.