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Non-scheduled flights and private flights

Requirements for operators of non-scheduled and private flights.


Eligible travellers can arrive in New Zealand on a non-scheduled or private flight. They are not limited to using international air services operated by airlines.

Non-scheduled flight operators must provide the required pre-departure information to Customs, allowing assurance processes to take place.

Providing information to border agencies before flights depart

Non-scheduled flight operators are required to provide the following information to Customs at least three hours before departure:

  • Passport or official travel document number of all travellers
  • Citizenship of Passport for all travellers
  • Surnames of all travellers
  • Given names of all travellers
  • Date of Birth of all travellers
  • Sex (as stated on passport) of all travellers
  • Date of arrival
  • Estimated time of arrival; and
  • Port of arrival

Passenger information and confirmation that all on board have met the requirements can be sent to itocops@customs.govt.nz. Information can be provided either on a Spreadsheet, word document, or email.

If a carrier also provides scheduled international air services, then passenger information can be provided within existing processes for those flights.

Update: New Zealand Traveller Declaration

From Thursday 20 October 2022, travellers flying to New Zealand by air do not need to complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration.

If you have already completed a Traveller Declaration for travel after Thursday 20 October 2022, you will not be required to present your Traveller Pass on arrival into New Zealand.

Visit the New Zealand Traveller Declaration website for more information about how the declaration will evolve and replace the New Zealand paper arrival card next year.

Non-scheduled arrivals in New Zealand to disembark at international terminal

From 11.59pm, 5 September 2022, non-scheduled and private flights can once again arrive at central and regional airports in New Zealand. These flights are still subject to the requirements of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 and the Biosecurity Act 1993, such as the requirement to provide advance notice of arrival, and to land at a Customs Place and Place of First Arrival (or obtain prior approval from Customs and/or MPI to land elsewhere).

The airports that are both Customs Places and Places of First Arrival (MPI), where international non-scheduled and private flights can arrive at are: 

  • Auckland International Airport
  • Wellington International Airport
  • Christchurch International Airport
  • Queenstown International Airport
  • Dunedin Airport
  • Hamilton Airport
  • Palmerston North Airport

Anyone wishing to land a plane at an airport that is not on this list will need to first obtain permission from Customs (in relation to airports that are not Customs Places) and/or MPI (in relation to airports that are not Places of First Arrival). Visit MPI’s website for more information.

Arriving in New Zealand

You must arrive during working hours unless there are extenuating circumstances. Send a completed Form C1A: Inward Report (PDF 123 KB) to  itocops@customs.govt.nz.

When you arrive, Customs and MPI biosecurity officers will come to meet you. Don’t let any people, luggage or cargo leave the plane until the officers give you permission.

You must give the officers:

  • a completed Passenger Arrival Card (PDF 205 KB) for each person on the plane
  • a completed NZCS 337: Border Cash Report (DOC 332 KB) if anyone on board is carrying NZ$10,000 or more cash or equivalent OR
  • an ID receipt if you have completed the online Border Cash Report - Note: if you choose to use the online Border Cash Report form, this must be carried out with 72 hours of your travel.
  • a valid passport or other travel document for each person on board
  • a clearance from your last port of departure

Note: the Passenger Arrival card is a sample only and cannot be presented to Customs or MPI staff.

Arriving outside of working hours

If you are arriving outside of working hours, you must get approval at least 5 working days in advance.

If you can’t land at an MPI-approved airport, you must get permission at least 10 working days in advance, unless there is an emergency.

Border clearance levy

You must pay a Border Clearance Levy whenever you cross New Zealand's border. We will send an invoice to the email address you give us on your advance notice of arrival and departures forms.

The levy is:

  • NZ$18.21 for every person over 2 years old arriving
  • NZ$3.37 for every person over 2 years old departing.

You can pay your arrival and departure levies at the same time. You must pay them before you leave NZ. You can pay online at pay.customs.govt.nz.

If you’re arriving at a non-approved airport, there may be extra charges.

Cargo

If you’re bringing in cargo that isn’t personal luggage, the person in charge of the plane must also give us the following information on the advance notice of arrival:

  • the names of the people involved in transporting the cargo
  • a description of the cargo
  • the place where the cargo was loaded for export
  • the place where the cargo is being offloaded
  • details of any packaging the cargo is in
  • if it’s going to be delivered somewhere, the names and addresses of the people it’s going to
  • if the cargo was transhipped, where it was transhipped. Transhipped refers to items which are:
    • being imported
    • haven’t cleared Customs
    • are being loaded onto another plane or boat/ship for export.

You can send us the advance notice of arrival, and these details, by:

Firearms and weapons

You may not be allowed to bring some items into NZ, including firearms and weaponry. You must declare any firearms when you arrive. NZ Police will take them and stow them safely until you leave NZ.

Some weapons are prohibited items, and you won’t be able to bring them in. These include:

  • flick knives
  • butterfly knives
  • swordsticks
  • knuckle-dusters
  • any weapon disguised as something else.

You must get permission to bring in items such as tasers, pepper spray and similar items.

Contact the police before you leave, to have your weapons returned.

Leaving NZ

The person in charge of your plane must tell us you’re leaving. There are no MPI requirements for leaving.

When you leave, you must give us:

  • a completed NZCS 337: Border Cash Report (DOC 332 KB) if anyone on board is carrying NZ$10,000 or more cash or equivalent or
  • an ID receipt if you have completed the online Border Cash Report
  • a valid passport or other travel document for each person on board
  • a clearance from your last port of departure.

When we clear you, we'll give you a Form C3A: Certificate of Clearance (DOC 240 KB). You may then leave NZ. 

Approved airports

If you’re leaving from an approved airport, you must tell us at least 2 hours, and preferably 24 hours before you depart.

Complete Form C2A: Advance notice of departure (aircraft) (DOC 150 KB) and email it to itocops@customs.govt.nz.

Non-approved airports

If you can’t leave from a Customs airport, or you’re arriving outside working hours, you must get approval at least 5 working days in advance.