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Prohibited and restricted items

Some items are prohibited and cannot be imported into New Zealand, and some require approval to import.

You can’t bring any of these items into New Zealand:

  • objectionable material contained on items like videotapes, films, records, CD-ROMs and in publications
  • weapons like flick knives, butterfly knives, swordsticks, knuckle-dusters
  • any weapon which is disguised as something else
  • equipment for using cannabis or methamphetamine
  • anything which you’re planning to use in a crime.

You need a permit to or an exemption to import these items:

  • species that are protected under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  • carnivorous plants
  • luxury goods of Russian origin including vodka, truffles, caviar, lobster, precious stones, personal electronics and clothing. This prohibition applies to goods made in Russia, no matter where they are sold online or shipped from.
  • gold of Russian origin
  • oil, gas and coal of Russian origin.

You may not be able to bring some medicines into New Zealand, especially controlled drugs. This includes medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

You might be able to bring in prescription medicines if you can show us a valid doctor’s prescription.

Prohibited and restricted exports

Some items are prohibited or restricted – you may not be able to take them out of New Zealand without a permit, or at all. These include:

  • pounamu (greenstone) in its natural state
  • paua meat
  • wildlife
  • antiquities
  • some works of art.

If you aren’t sure whether you can take something out of New Zealand, please contact us.