Yachts

Yachts and other small vessels have to provide specific information before coming into or leaving New Zealand waters.


 NZ waters are all water within 12 nautical miles of our coastline. Read our Advice for Travellers (PDF 2.6 MB).

Yacht pack

You can find all the documents you’ll need in our Yacht Pack (PDF 11 MB). You can also get hard copies of the yacht pack at all NZ Customs offices or by writing to us.

If you are outside of NZ, hard copies of the yacht pack can be found at the following locations:

Australia
Most Customs House offices of the Australian Customs Service.
Fiji
Musket Cove Yacht Club
Musket Cove
Fiji
Royal Suva Yacht Club
Queens Road
Korovou
Suva
Vuda Point Marina
(Marshall Sails Ltd)
12 Salala Point Rd
Lautoka
Yacht Help Fiji
Port Denarau Marina
Fiji
New Caledonia
Direction Regionale des Douanes
1 rue de la Republique
Noumea

Direction Regionale des Douanes
B.P. 214-98860
Kone

Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island Customs
Customs House
Taylors Rd
Norfolk Island
Rarotonga

New Zealand High Commission
1st Floor
Philatelic Bureau Building
Takuvaine Rd
Avarua

Tahiti - French Polynesia
Tahiti Ocean
Marina Taina – PK 9 West
Papeete
Direction Regionale des Douanes
De Polynesie Francaise
Motu Uta
Papeete
Tonga
New Zealand High Commission
Corner of Taufa’ahau and Salote Roads
Nuku’alofa
Tongatapu
Moorings/Sunsail Yacht Charters
Neiafu
Vava’u 

Cafe Tropicana
Neiafu
Vava’u

Vanuatu

Yachting World
Port Vila

Before you arrive

You must send us an NZCS 340: Advance Notice of Arrival (DOC 290 KB) at least 48 hours before you arrive in NZ waters.

You can send the form:

When you arrive

When you arrive in NZ waters, tell us by calling Maritime Radio on 1 of these frequencies:

  • 4125 kHz
  • 6215 kHz
  • VHF Ch16.

You must also display the international Q-flag and report to a Customs port of entry.

Ports of entry

Before you can go anywhere else, you must report first to one of these ports of entry:

  • Opua
  • Whangarei
  • Auckland
  • Tauranga
  • New Plymouth
  • Gisborne
  • Napier
  • Wellington
  • Nelson
  • Picton
  • Lyttelton
  • Timaru
  • Port Chalmers
  • Bluff.

If you’re not arriving at a Customs port of entry, you must get approval from us first. If it’s an emergency and you haven’t been able to get our approval, tell a Customs or NZ Police officer immediately.

Customs and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) officers will meet you when you dock. Do not let any people or items off the craft until we have cleared you.

You must give us a completed:

Each person on board must also have a valid passport with a valid visa (if required) for your stay in NZ.

Border clearance levy: arrival

You must pay a Border Clearance Levy of $18.21 per person when you arrive.

We will send an invoice to the email address you give us on your advance notice of arrival form.

We will email you within five days of arriving in NZ waters. 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
  • 2% for every month you don’t pay.

Bringing restricted and prohibited items into NZ

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.

Importing yachts or small craft

If your yacht or small craft is staying in NZ for 2 years or less, you can apply for a Temporary Import Entry (TIE). If we approve it, you won’t have to pay Customs duties or GST.

To qualify for the temporary entry provision, you must:

  • be a genuine visitor and have arrived in NZ for a temporary visit
  • be a permanent resident of a country other than NZ
  • be bringing in the craft for private purposes
  • sign a document saying you’ll pay Customs duty and GST if you don’t meet the TIE requirements.

If you don’t meet the requirements for a TIE, contact us before you arrive. We can tell you what:

  • Customs duty, GST and other charges you will need to pay
  • your entry requirements are.

You may be exempt from import entry requirements if your craft:

  • is returning to New Zealand
  • is owned and registered in New Zealand
  • was built in New Zealand
  • has already been cleared and any relevant duty/GST paid.

This doesn’t apply if your craft was built for export, and exported overseas.

If you’re moving to NZ, you may be able to import your craft without paying Customs duty and GST.

Leaving New Zealand

You must leave NZ waters from a Customs port of entry.

Before you leave NZ, you must send us the following completed documents:

When we have approved your clearance, you must leave NZ immediately and directly. If you don’t, we may prosecute you. Penalties include up to 1 year in prison or a fine of up to $15,000.

The only exceptions are in an emergency, or with our permission.

If the situation is life-threatening or a genuine emergency, contact us on immediately:

  • 0800 ITOC OPS (0508 486 267)
  • +64 9 927 8240
  • itocops@customs.govt.nz
  • Maritime radio:
    • VHF ch16
    • 2182 kHz
    • 4125 kHz
    • 6215 kHz
    • 8291 kHz.

If the situation isn’t life-threatening, but you still need to pause your journey, you must get our permission first. Use the details above to contact us.

No people or items can leave or board your vessel in these situations without our permission. We will tell you what other requirements you must meet.

Taking duty free items out of NZ

You can only load duty-free consumable items when you’re about to depart NZ. 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 ships.stores@customs.govt.nz. 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.

Returning your firearms or weapons

Contact NZ Police to arrange for the return of any firearms or weaponry they kept.

Border clearance levy: departure

You must pay a Border Clearance Levy of $3.37 per person when you leave NZ.

We will send an invoice to the email address you give us on your advance notice of departure form.

We will email you within five days of leaving NZ waters. You have until 20 of the following month to pay. If you pay late, we will charge you:

  • 8% on the remaining amount
  • 2% for every month you don’t pay.