Skip to main content
Page load in progress

NZ Maritime border controls

There are restrictions on the maritime vessels that may arrive into NZ. Strict isolation or quarantine requirements are also in place for those arriving at the maritime border.


The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order 2020 has been made to strengthen maritime border controls to further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the maritime border.

The purpose of the Order is to:

  • restrict the vessels that may arrive into New Zealand, and
  • put in place strict isolation or quarantine requirements for those arriving at the maritime border.

The Order was made under section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 by the Minister of Health, and it came into effect at 11.59pm on 30 June 2020.

The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order (No 2) 2020 came into effect from 11.59pm on Sunday 6 September and replaced the previous Order, that governs persons who arrive in New Zealand by sea.

The Order continues the prohibition on foreign ships in New Zealand, with a range of exceptions. Exceptions include fishing ships, cargo ships and those that have been granted permission if there is a humanitarian reason or a compelling need for the ship to be delivered to a NZ business.

Trans-Tasman Quarantine Free Travel

The maritime border remains closed during the Trans-Tasman Quarantine Free Travel that started on Sunday 18 April at 11:59pm NZT. This includes small craft and yachts coming to New Zealand from Australia with foreign citizens on them, unless they have been granted an exemption under the Maritime Border Order from the Ministry of Health in New Zealand.

New Zealand registered small craft with all New Zealand crew are able to enter New Zealand but must still serve a 14-day quarantine period from the time they last had contact with anyone else outside of their vessel. Foreign registered small craft must apply for a vessel exemption from the Ministry of Health, regardless of the crew’s nationality.

Vessel crew that are not New Zealanders, New Zealand permanent residents, Australian nationals who live in New Zealand and their immediate families, must apply for a temporary visitor’s visa from Immigration NZ, regardless of the country the small craft is registered to.

Commercial maritime vessels undertaking cargo operations will continue to be exempt from the maritime border closure and can continue to operate.

The Ministry of Health has published information on its website about the Order, and Maritime New Zealand have provided information about the Order in a maritime industry update.

Download the Vessels arriving in New Zealand Guide (PDF 205 KB).

Visit our webpage for more information in relation to superyachts and pleasure craft.