Recreational vessels, yachts and small craft
Find out about the requirements for all owners, operators, agents, passengers and crew of recreational vessels, yachts and small craft, including superyachts and pleasure craft arriving and departing New Zealand.
Before you travel
You need to comply with all requirements to enter New Zealand. Follow these steps to prepare for your travel.
All passengers and crew on board recreational vessels, yachts and small craft are required to meet the following requirements before entering New Zealand:
Each person aboard must have:
- A valid passport. Check its expiry date to make sure it meets the rules for acceptable travel documents. If you are a New Zealand citizen and you need to renew your passport, make sure you allow plenty of time before you travel. Apply for or renew your passport at passports.govt.nz or check that your passport is acceptable for travel to New Zealand on the Immigration NZ website.
- A visa (if required) or an NZeTA. Travellers who are not New Zealand or Australian passport holders need a current visa or NZeTA to enter New Zealand. For more information visit Immigration NZ's website.
- Evidence of funds of NZ$400 per month, if living onboard a yacht
- An outward ticket (or evidence of sufficient funds to buy an outward ticket) if departing by commercial transport.
Mandatory documents to complete
The following mandatory forms must be completed in full with the correct information and emailed to email@example.com within the specified timeframes as listed below.
Documents should be supplied in the following accepted formats:
- Word document
- .jpg (photographs accepted if content is legible)
1. Complete the Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA) for all craft travelling to New Zealand as required under the Customs and Excise Act 2018
The small craft/yachts Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA) form (DOC 284 KB) needs to be completed by the owner/master of the vessel and sent to us at least 48 hours before arrival in New Zealand territorial waters – 12 nautical miles.
The ANA is a mandatory legal document required and the owner/master is liable to prosecution for not submitting the ANA in the required timeframe and for not providing the ANA in the specified form and manner.
Other documents to supply with ANA
The following documents must be provided and emailed with the ANA to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Certificate of Registration
- Scanned copy or photograph of bio-page of passport for all passengers and crew on board
- Full photograph of craft/vessel
- Evidence of Value e.g. Bill of Sale (Purchase agreement with sale price)
If you don’t have evidence of value (for example, the craft was built, gifted, modified, or inherited) you can provide:
- a full replacement marine insurance value, or,
- a New Zealand boat valuation by an independent assessor. This is to be done at time of importation to establish the value of the craft. The New Zealand boat valuation will be at your cost.
Important Note: when your ANA and supporting documents have been emailed to email@example.com, you will receive an auto-reply confirming we have received your documentation. If you do not receive a reply email, please resend all information again. Remember to check your junk mail folder as well.
What to do if your travel plans change after submitting your ANA
If you have submitted your ANA to Customs and your travel plans change, especially if you intend to arrive prior to the ETA stated in Part B of the form; please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ITOCOperationsCentre@customs.govt.nz and advise us of those changes. This will ensure that you will be able to be processed efficiently when you arrive. Ideally this advice should be sent prior to your departure from the last port before New Zealand. You can update your ETA enroute by contacting Maritime Radio by HF or VHF (when within range).
2. C4G/Temporary Import Entry for Vessels arriving on a Temporary basis
Yachts that arrive in New Zealand on a temporary basis (up to 24 months) may qualify to be entered on a C4G/Temporary Import Entry. We will require specific documents to ensure Customs can clear your vessel on a Temporary Import Entry (TIE).
Please note, if the required documents listed on this page are not provided this could delay the clearance of your vessel upon arrival.
Conditions for qualifying for a C4G/TIE
- the vessel owners are a resident of a country other than New Zealand, and the vessel is in New Zealand for bona fide tourism purposes
- the vessel is in New Zealand for a maximum of 24 months
- the vessel will not be sold or offered for sale or
- otherwise disposed of in New Zealand without the permission of Customs; and
- the vessel will not be used in a commercial capacity for hire, or for the transport of cargo or the carriage of passengers for reward while in New Zealand.
- the skipper/owner must export the vessel before the expiry of the 24 months period. If the vessel is NOT exported, the skipper/owner will undertake to pay Customs the amount of duty and GST calculated on the vessel at time of importation.
C4G/TIE form: this form is a sample only and should not be completed prior to arriving in New Zealand.
When you arrive in New Zealand a Customs officer will inspect your vessel and complete the form, you will then be required to sign the form. When you sign the C4G you are making a declaration that you will not sell the vessel within 24 months of arrival and that the particulars contained in the form are true and correct.
If you do sell the vessel, you will be required to pay Customs the duty/GST owing at the time of import. And if you are intending to sell your vessel while it is under a C4G/TIE, permission must first be given by Customs.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com
3. Complete the Inward Report
The Inward Report form (PDF 231 KB) is to be completed by the owner/master of the vessel and provides information in relation to the vessel, its travel movements, any cargo, firearms, controlled drugs/medicines, stores, passengers and crew on board, craft details such as type of vessel, radio frequencies for Maritime NZ, other chattels on board and the ownership of the craft. The form must be completed in respect of all vessels and within 24 hours of arriving at a Customs place and be handed to Customs at the port.
4. Complete the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Masters Declaration
All vessels must comply with Biosecurity requirements for entry into NZ. The MPI Masters Declaration form (PDF 201 KB) must be completed by the master of the vessel. This declaration must be completed at time of arrival and handed to MPI/Customs at the port.
5. Complete the Border Cash Report (if applicable)
You are required to complete a Border Cash Report if you carry NZ$10,000 or more cash (or foreign equivalent) into or out of New Zealand. You can complete this in the paper form: NZCS 337: Border Cash Report (DOC 332 KB), or, on condition of acceptance by a Customs officer, the online Border Cash Report form.
The form must be completed by the individual/s bringing the cash into New Zealand. This declaration must be completed at time of arrival and handed to Customs at the port. If you have completed the online Border Cash Report you will receive an ID receipt for presenting to Customs at the port.
Note: the online Border Cash Report form can only be completed within 72 hours of your trip to New Zealand.
6. Complete an arrival declaration
Travellers arriving in New Zealand on a recreational vessel, yacht or small craft must complete either a:
- digital New Zealand Traveller Declaration; or
- a paper declaration (New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card or NZTD paper declaration [Maritime]).
New Zealand Traveller Declaration
The New Zealand Traveller Declaration (NZTD) is now available for travellers on recreational vessels, yachts and small craft. The system allows travellers to complete a digital declaration prior to presenting to a border officer on arrival in New Zealand. This declaration is submitted instead of completing a paper arrival declaration. Find out more at www.travellerdeclaration.govt.nz/travelling-by-sea.
Note: copies of the paper arrival declarations provided on this webpage are samples only and cannot be printed out and presented to Customs or MPI staff.
Pay the border processing levy
Each person must pay a Border Processing Levy of NZ$15.79 when they arrive and NZ$2.94 when they leave New Zealand.
We will send an invoice to the email address you give us on your advance notice of arrival form. You have until the 20th day of the following month to pay. If you pay late, we will charge you 8% on the remaining amount and 2% for every month you don’t pay.
Restricted and prohibited items
You are not allowed to bring some items into New Zealand, and some require approval to import, including firearms and certain types of weapons. For more information visit the Prohibited and restricted items webpage.
You must declare any firearms prior to your arrival on the ANA.
Voyage and preparing for arrival
Activate your AIS transponder (or other observable satellite tracking system) prior to departure. Keep it on for the duration of the journey so your movements can be verified.
Make sure your vessel is properly outfitted and provisioned before undertaking your voyage. In addition to planning your travel time to New Zealand, remember to plan for enough provisions, power, fuel and waste management aboard your vessel.
If anyone on board has or is suspected of having an infectious disease, you must fly the international Q flag and notify health authorities.
Ports of arrival for recreational vessels, yachts and small craft
Recreational vessels, yachts and small craft can arrive at eight ports and marinas in New Zealand.
The ports/marinas that vessels can arrive at are:
- Auckland (Westhaven marina)
- Auckland Harbour Viaduct marina and Silo Park marina
- Tauranga (Vessel Works precinct): Note: Vessels with bookings only. Minimum 48 hours notice required. Visit Vessel Works website for all conditions of entry.
- Picton (and including Waikawa Marina)
All eight ports and marinas are Customs-controlled Areas (CCA’s) and Places of First Arrival (PoFA) for MPI.
Ensure you meet biosecurity requirements
Certain food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry are not allowed into New Zealand. Visit MPI's website for more information about what is required for biosecurity clearance and read the fact sheet Clearance procedures for yachts and pleasure craft (PDF 849 KB).
When you arrive
When you arrive in New Zealand waters, tell us by calling Maritime Radio on 1 of these frequencies:
- 2182 kHz
- 4125 kHz
- 6215 kHz
- 8291 kHz
- 12290 kHz
- 16420 kHz
- VHF Ch 16
Clearance to leave your vessel
When you berth at your first port of arrival in New Zealand, border officers from Customs and MPI will come aboard your vessel to complete arrival formalities. You must stay on board until they give you clearance to leave your vessel.
COVID-19 update for Private Yachts on C4G/Temporary Import entry (TIE)
Arriving yachts that are here on a temporary basis may qualify to be entered on a C4G/Temporary Import Entry.
In 2020 under COVID-19 restrictions many vessels were unable to depart New Zealand before the expiration of their TIEs (Temporary Import Entry). The decision was made for Customs to give a blanket extension to all affected by TIEs to stay in New Zealand.
A further extension was given until 30 June 2023 - this is the final date for export of vessels under the extended TIE.
Yacht owners must continue to abide by the conditions set out in their C4G. Any breach of these conditions will invalidate the C4G and therefore this further extension.
If you are intending to sell your vessel while it is under a C4G/TIE, permission must first be given by Customs. If you have any questions or require clarification, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about the departure process for leaving New Zealand, visit the Leaving New Zealand section below.
Leaving New Zealand
You must depart New Zealand from a designated Customs place. If you wish to depart from a port that is not a Customs place you must have obtained prior approval from Customs.
Getting the completed departure forms to us three days before your departure will help avoid processing delays. We must receive your forms no less than 4 hours before you leave: Form C2B: Advance notice of departure (small craft) (DOC 165 KB)
Maritime NZ also require an inspection safety certificate from Yachting NZ (search Safety Inspections), if your craft is registered in New Zealand.
Ensure you have passports for every person leaving on the craft, and a recent photograph of the craft which can be used for identifying it.
When we have approved your clearance, you must depart immediately and must not go to any other place within New Zealand or you risk a fine or prosecution.
The only exceptions are in an emergency, or with our permission. Contact us immediately on:
If the situation isn’t life-threatening, but you still need to pause your journey, you must get our permission first. An officer will tell you what other requirements you must meet.
Passengers must complete a Border Cash Report if they are carrying NZ$10,000 or more in cash or equivalent – they must declare it on the NZCS 337: Border Cash Report (DOC 332 KB) or, on condition of acceptance by a Customs officer, the online Border Cash Report form. This form is to be completed by the individual moving the cash out of New Zealand.
Taking duty free items out of New Zealand
You can only load duty-free consumable items when you’re about to depart New Zealand.
You can do this through a duty-free business or ships providore, who must email NZCS 325: Requisition for Ships Stores (DOC 147 KB) to us at email@example.com. They must email us no more than 12 hours before you leave.
Keep receipts for any duty-free purchases you’re claiming, as we may inspect them.
Extending your stay, chartering or permanently importing your yacht
Visitors to New Zealand may import a yacht or sailing craft for up to 2 years without paying duty and GST or a cash security provided they meet all of the following criteria:
- they are a permanent resident of a country other than New Zealand
- the yacht or sailing craft will not be sold or offered for sale in New Zealand, or destroyed or given away without permission from Customs
- the yacht or sailing craft will not be used commercially for hire, transport of cargo or carrying passengers.
Note: the qualifying criteria may be extended, on a case by case basis, to craft used for charter, provided the charter work is less than 65 per cent of the vessel’s time in New Zealand.
If the requirements above are not met, we will require a financial security and the yacht or small craft must be exported within 12 months.
If you’re moving to NZ, you may be able to import your craft without paying Customs duty and GST.
- Calling from NZ: 0800 428 786
- Calling from Australia: 1 800 301 861
- Calling from overseas: +64 4 931 5799 | +64 9 927 8036
- DOC: Importing Wildlife (PDF 2 MB)
- Infringement Notices Flyer (PDF 846 KB)
- INZ 1083: Guide for visitors arriving by yacht
- MPI: Don't bring hitchhikers to NZ on your vessel (PDF 881 KB)
- MPI: Clearance procedures for yachts and pleasure craft (PDF 849 KB)
- MPI: Masters Declaration
- MPI: New biofouling requirements (PDF 676 KB)
See something suspicious along the coastline?
Help protect New Zealand by reporting suspicious activity that could indicate cross-border crime. Our coastlines are part of New Zealand’s border, and criminals can use them to bring drugs into our country or undertake other illegal activity. If you’re near the coast, be alert to the signs of cross-border crime.
If you notice yachts or boats meeting at sea, or landing in an unusual area, or transferring objects between vessels, you may have witnessed something illegal. People or vehicles in unusual or isolated areas near the coast – especially activity that looks rushed, nervous or secretive – can also be a sign of crime.
If it doesn’t seem right, report it.
Find out more on our Border Protect webpage.
You may incur penalties if you breach New Zealand law, for example by not complying with public health requirements or Customs’ requirements, or failing to declare restricted goods or goods that exceed Customs’ allowances.
This information is a general guide only. It should not be relied on if specific advice is needed in relation to your particular circumstances. You should either approach the specific New Zealand government agency concerned or seek independent legal advice.