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Bringing pets and animals into NZ

You must clear your pets through Customs and MPI/Biosecurity when they arrive in the country.

International airlines only transport animals to New Zealand’s two main airports, Auckland and Christchurch.

There are strict rules you must follow when bringing live animals into New Zealand. This page sets out the Customs requirements, please refer to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website for the Biosecurity requirements.

If you're bringing an animal into New Zealand for commercial reasons, you'll need to contact a Customs broker to undertake the process for you. Commercial reasons include breeding, showing and racing.

It may be advisable to contact a professional pet exporter in your pet's country to help arrange tests, treatments, flights, permits to import, shipping crates, and other requirements.

Prohibited animals and pets

Some animals aren’t allowed in New Zealand. You can’t bring in:

  • live birds
  • ferrets
  • guinea pigs (except from Australia)
  • mice and rats (except laboratory animals)
  • snakes and other reptiles (except for zoos).

If you aren't sure whether you can bring your pet into New Zealand, check with MPI.

Prohibited dog breeds and types

You can’t bring dogs into New Zealand if they’re:

  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario.

This prohibition doesn't apply if your dog is:

  • registered under the Dog Control Act 1996 (New Zealand Legislation)
  • a guide or hearing dog
  • a companion dog.

If you aren’t sure whether you can bring your pet into New Zealand, check with the Department of Internal Affairs.

If your dog is one of the listed breeds/types, you will also need to provide evidence that it has been certified as an assistance dog.

What do I need to do?

Step 1

Research and begin undertaking the MPI biosecurity requirements. MPI's website has a detailed breakdown of their requirements and step by step instructions.

Step 2

Arrange transport for your pet.

Your transport company will provide you with an Air Waybill, which you will need to complete this process.

Step 3

If you're bringing a dog into New Zealand which has not been previously registered in New Zealand, you are required to complete an Exempting Statutory Declaration (PDF 123 KB).

Step 4

Prior to the animal arriving in New Zealand if possible, email with the following documents (alternatively you can contact a Customs broker to manage the process for you):

Step 5

If you've purchased the animal from overseas and you live in New Zealand, Customs will issue you an invoice based on the purchase cost of your animal in New Zealand Dollars, as well as the cost of shipping and any insurance.

This invoice amount will be made up of: 15% GST, an Import Entry Transaction Fee (IETF) and the Biosecurity System Entry Levy (BSEL).

If you're moving back to New Zealand after having been away for more than 21 months, or are moving here for the first time, you may not have to pay the 15% GST. The Customs officer who is processing your application will assess if you must pay GST.

Step 6

Pay your bill

Step 7

You'll receive confirmation of payment, and a delivery order will be sent to the company who is transporting your animal.

Once you've also completed the MPI Biosecurity requirements, you'll be able to collect your animal.

Please note that your animal may be subject to quarantine requirements which are set out on MPI's importing animals page.