Permits to import alerts

You need government permission to import some items into New Zealand.


CusMod covers the import restrictions and prohibitions listed below.

Electronic compliance checks

CusMod will run compliance checks on permits from:

  • Ministry of Health/Office of Radiation Safety
  • Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

We may audit these approvals, and ask you for more information on the details you entered in your entry.

Permit numbers

You must have permit number(s) for the permits from the organisations listed above.

Enter the permit number(s) in the “Permit number” field:

  • at the beginning of the entry, if the permit number covers all the item(s) on your entry
    • you can enter up to 10 permit numbers
  • on the detail line of the entry, if it doesn’t cover all the item(s) on your entry
    • you can enter up to 5 permit numbers per detail line.

Permit declarations

Importers/agents can declare that item(s) need permission for import when they’re:

  • used equipment and machinery that needs MPI clearance
  • controlled drugs
  • hazardous wastes.

After we’ve accepted your entry, we’ll send you a message saying you need a permit, and should contact us.

Import prohibitions and restrictions our alerts cover

Agricultural products

You must have approval from the Ministry for Primary Industries to import many agricultural products. Enter the Ministry’s biosecurity clearance number (eg AF1 1234) in the “Permit number” of your entry.

Agricultural items – used items

You must have Ministry for Primary Industries approval to import a wide range of used equipment and machinery – including used agricultural equipment. In many cases, new and used equipment aren’t identified separately in the Tariff.

If your items are new, enter NEW in the “Prohibited” field.

If your items are used, enter:

  • MUD in the “Prohibited goods” field
  • the MPI biosecurity clearance number in the “Permit number” field.

Anti-personnel mines

You must have approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to import anti-personnel mines. You must give us a copy of the approval.

Asbestos in its raw, fibrous state

You must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import asbestos in its raw fibrous state. You must give us a copy of the approval.

Chemicals

You must have approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to import:

  • chemical weapons
  • chemicals that may be used to make chemical weapons.

The Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1996 covers these chemicals in 3 schedules.

If the chemicals are covered in Schedule 1, you must give us a copy of the approval.

If the chemicals are covered in Schedules 2 and 3 of the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1996, and:

  • there is a separate tariff item for the chemical:
    • enter MFA plus the permit number in the “Permit number” field
  • the tariff item covers chemicals which are and aren’t covered by the Act:
    • enter CWA in the “Prohibited” field
    • enter MFA plus the permit number in the “Permit number” field
  • they’re not subject to the Act:
    • enter NCW in the “Prohibited” field. This code overrides the requirement for approval.

Cigarette lighters

You must prove compliance with safety standards for:

  • disposable lighters
  • refillable lighters worth less than NZ$3.50 (Customs value).

These lighters must be tested and meet the “child resistant” requirements of the American Consumer Product Safety Standard for cigarette lighters.

You must give us a copy of the certificate of compliance.

Cluster munitions

You must have approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to import cluster munitions.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Controlled drugs

You must have approval from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to import controlled drugs, eg methadone and pethidine.

In the “Prohibited” field, enter:

  • NCD for non-controlled drugs
  • CDS for controlled drugs, you must give us a copy of the approval from MoH.

Endangered, threatened and exploited species

You must have approval from the Department of Conservation to import items involving endangered, threatened and exploited species.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Explosives

You must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import explosives.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Firearms, parts of firearms and restricted weapons

You must have approval from the New Zealand Police to import firearms, parts of firearms and restricted weapons, including:

  • mace
  • pepper spray
  • stun guns
  • mines
  • grenades
  • some airguns.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Food

You must have approval from the Ministry for Primary Industries to import a range of food. Enter the permit number – eg FSA 1234 – in the “Permit number” field.

Beef and beef products

If your items contain beef, or beef-derived ingredients like gelatin, enter:

  • BEF in the “Prohibited” field
  • the import permit number in the “Permit number” field.

If your items don’t contain beef or beef-derived products like gelatin, enter:

  • NBF in the “Prohibited” field
  • the import permit number in the “Permit number” field.

This does not apply to milk and milk products.

Hazardous waste

You must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import hazardous wastes covered by the Basel Convention.

In the “Prohibited” field, enter the code:

  • NHW, for non-hazardous wastes, or
  • HAW, for hazardous wastes.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Offensive weapons

You must have approval from the New Zealand Police to import offensive weapons.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Ozone-depleting substances

You must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import ozone-depleting substances, eg CFCs.

For dry-cleaning machines and aircraft/ships with fire extinguishers that contain or use CFCs or halons, enter:

  • OZO in the “Prohibited” field
  • the permit number, eg EPA 1234, in the “Permit number” field. 

For dry-cleaning machines and aircraft/ships with fire extinguishers that contain or use CFCs or halons, enter NOZ.

For other ozone-depleting substances and items, you must give us a copy of the approval.

Persistent organic pollutants

You must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import persistent organic pollutants covered by the Stockholm Convention.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

Radioactive substances

You must have approval from the Office of Radiation Safety to import radioactive material.

Enter ORS plus the permit number in the “Permit number” field.

Rough diamonds

You may only import diamonds into New Zealand which are certified under the Kimberley Process.

You must give us a copy of your Kimberley Process certificate.

Rubber and plastic hot water bottles

If you’re importing rubber or plastic hot water bottles, you must give us:

  • a test certificate stating they comply with the BS 1970:2001 or BS 1970:2006 “Hot water bottles manufactured from rubber and PVC” specification
    • the certificate must be less than a year old, and from a lab accredited with ISO17025
  • a statutory declaration that the test certificate relates to the hot water bottles you’re importing.

Toothfish

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) manages the primary Antarctic toothfish fishery, located in the Ross Sea. 

You can only import toothfish into NZ from another country if it’s covered by:

  • a properly-completed catch document (CCAMLR) 
  • an export/re-export document from a signatory to the CCAMLR Convention. In these cases, enter the shipment’s document number and export ID number in the “Goods description” field.

Toxic substances

You must have approval from the Environmental Protection Authority to import:

  • children’s crayons
  • children’s finger paints
  • children’s watercolour paints
  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

Enter MOH plus the permit number in the “Permit number” field.

Trout and trout products

You must have approval from the Minister of Conservation to import trout and trout products. 

This doesn’t apply if:

  • the consignments weighs less than 10 kgs, and
  • you’re not going to sell it in New Zealand – ie it’s a gift, for private consumption, etc.

You must give us a copy of the approval.

United Nations sanctions

You must have approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to import items which are subject to United Nations (UN) import sanctions. These sanctions apply to:

Cote d’Ivoire

Arms and military equipment.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)

  • arms, military equipment and related material, and spare parts for these items
  • weapons of mass destruction ballistic-related goods
  • bunkering supplies
  • luxury goods.

Iraq

  • arms and military equipment
  • Iraqi cultural property.

Iran

  • arms and military equipment
  • bunkering supplies
  • items that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems

Libya

Arms and military equipment.