On your arrival
New Zealand Traveller Declaration, what to declare, translation support, etc.
New Zealand Traveller Declaration
All travellers to New Zealand must complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration before reaching passport control in New Zealand. You can complete a digital declaration at www.TravellerDeclaration.govt.nz, or a paper arrival declaration (PDF 2.3 MB) which will either be available on your flight or on arrival in New Zealand.
You need to answer questions about your trip and what you’re bringing into the country.
If you complete a digital arrival declaration, you do not need to complete a paper arrival declaration.
To complete your declaration or to find out more visit www.TravellerDeclaration.govt.nz.
What to declare
Providing items meet biosecurity requirements, you do not have to declare your clothing, footwear, jewellery, and toiletries – these are regarded as “personal effects” if they are intended solely for your own use.
Please have any purchase receipts available.
You must declare or select ‘Yes’ in your arrival declaration if you are bringing into New Zealand:
- medicine – over 3 months' supply, or medicine not prescribed to you
- restricted or prohibited goods, for example, weapons, indecent publications, endangered plants or wildlife, illegal or controlled drugs
- alcohol – more than 3 bottles of spirits (not exceeding 1.125 litres each) and 4.5 litres of wine or beer
- tobacco – more than 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of tobacco products (including a mixture of cigarettes and other tobacco products)
- goods obtained overseas and/or purchased duty-free in New Zealand with a total value of more than NZ$700 (including gifts)
- goods carried for business or commercial use
- goods carried on behalf of another person
- cash – NZ$10,000 or more (or foreign equivalent), including travellers cheques, bank drafts, money orders, etc.
If you fail to declare restricted or prohibited items or make a false or incorrect declaration in your arrival declaration, you could face a $400 instant fine.
Translation support - arrival declarations
If English is not your first language, the New Zealand Traveller Declaration Contact Centre has translation services available if you need support completing a digital arrival declaration. Find out more at www.travellerdeclaration.govt.nz/contact/.
Translated samples of the paper New Zealand Traveller Declaration, and previous Passenger Arrival Cards are also available to provide assistance in completing your paper declaration in English.
Note: These translations are samples only and cannot be presented to Customs or MPI staff upon arrival.
You must answer all questions on your arrival declaration, and produce your identity documents. It is an offence not to do so.
You may get questioned because we want to verify you are a legitimate traveller. A Customs officer might ask you a range of questions to verify who you are, why you are travelling, and what you are carrying with you.
You can ask our officer to explain why they are asking a particular question, if you need that clarified. You also can request a translator or interpreter if that will help.
Screening and baggage search
After clearing passport control and collecting your baggage, follow the appropriate lanes through biosecurity screening.
If you have goods to declare – or there is something you are unsure about – then you should speak to a border officer.
If you have organic goods to declare which may be agriculture risks, or if you are unsure about it, you should go to a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) biosecurity officer.
You may be stopped at the discretion of a border officer at any stage through the screening process.
You may not leave the arrival hall until you have completed all Immigration, Customs and MPI Biosecurity formalities that may be required of you.
Border officers may search the baggage of any traveller. You must make any item in your possession or under your control available for examination.
- wallets, handbags, money belts, and the contents of your pockets
- any items being carried by a child who is travelling with you.
During this process, the contents of your bags may be removed and examined. Sometimes an officer may use a detector dog or imaging equipment to assist with the examination, or do a drug swab test. Please note imaging equipment will not damage the contents of your bag, such as unexposed film. The only time imaging equipment might damage film or other material is after repeated exposure.
It is always better to declare items you are unsure about, rather than running the risk of getting caught with something which is prohibited.
Let us know if there are items of special personal significance that need to be handled carefully. If you have concerns about your privacy, please raise this with the officer.
An officer may conduct a personal search if they suspect a person is concealing unlawful goods, or goods on which revenue must be paid, on or about their body.
The officer will explain your rights if this type of search is needed. An officer of your gender will carry out this search in a private room, and another officer will be present as a witness.
Photography, filming, recording or use of mobile phones is not permitted in the search area for security and privacy reasons.
If you need to contact someone who is waiting for you, please tell the officer and they will consider this.
All our officers are required to protect your privacy. They will not answer questions about you or your whereabouts if your friends or families approach them directly in the waiting area, unless you have given us approval at the time.
If you know you have something prohibited in your possession, or are in doubt about it, you have the option of getting rid of it before entering the Customs and Biosecurity areas. You will find Amnesty Bins for this purpose located at all New Zealand’s international airports. They are there for the safe disposal of risk goods. Amnesty bins are marked, for example, for getting rid of excess tobacco products or biosecurity risk items left in your bags.
Things to be wary of bringing in
Restricted items you must declare include feathers, bones, tusks, furs, skins, hunting trophies, stuffed animals and reptiles, unprocessed wool and animal hair, items made from animal skin (e.g. crocodile handbags) and equipment used on animals including riding equipment.
You will not be allowed to bring the following into New Zealand: coral, clam, turtle and tortoise shells, products of endangered species or ivory in any form, unless you have a CITES certificate to allow you to do so.