Private shipments


When sending non-commercial containers or cargo out of New Zealand, you need to be aware of the biosecurity measures placed in the country you are sending your shipment to. You should also be familiar with the Customs requirements your cargo will encounter when it arrives there.

For up-to-date information on import protocols, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) website to find your relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

Exporting private shipments

All cargo exported from New Zealand must have a Customs Export Clearance. This includes personal effects, gifts, unaccompanied baggage and pets.

There are two categories of export clearances:

  • NZ Customs Export Clearance
  • NZ Customs Export Entry.

NZ Customs Export Clearance

These apply to:

  • Goods having a value not exceeding $1,000
  • Bona fide gifts to persons resident outside New Zealand
  • Passenger baggage and personal/household effects, irrespective of value
  • Tools of trade.

NZ Customs Export Entry

These apply to goods having a value exceeding $1,000.

Full details of consignments will be required, including commercial invoices stating the quantity and value of each item.

Cargo terminals

A shipper must obtain a Customs Delivery Order before cargo can be exported from the International Cargo Terminals. Air New Zealand’s International Cargo Terminals at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will facilitate an export clearance or export entry for all private shippers.

This will be done by an independent Customs Broker after the acceptance transaction is complete and during the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) holding period. The CAA holding period includes either a 36-hour hold, or x-ray screening of your shipment. 

This clearance service is available to non-commercial exporters only.

Customs Export Clearance charges will apply.

Excess baggage

A Customs Export Clearance will not be required if you pay Excess Baggage charges when your checked-in baggage exceeds the free allowance, either by weight or number.

Even when you exceed your baggage allowance by up to 20 kg, it is still generally cheaper to pay the Excess Baggage than to send the items as unaccompanied baggage or cargo.

View our information on prohibited and restricted items.