Personal Travelers wishing to bring items into New Zealand should consult the Entering New Zealand section of our site

This Importing section provides you with information on Standards and Requirements for:

The increasing volume of trade and travel is placing extra pressure on our biosecurity systems. New pests and diseases can not only impact on human health but also damage agriculture or horticultural production, forestry and tourism and affect trade in international markets. Importers are among the most important people in defending against potential biosecurity dangers.

Please refer to What you must declare and the Pests and Diseases list for specific information on restricted goods and potential dangers. MPI must be satisfied that goods or organisms do not harbour unwanted organisms before biosecurity clearance will be given. You may also refer to the Registers, Lists and Indexes section of our site for specific information about organisms that are considered unwanted or pests to New Zealand.

Failing to declare restricted goods could result in the owner of the goods being fined up to $100,000 or a company being fined up to $200,000. More information about fines.

You may also require Customs clearance for any item imported. Other Government agencies such as the Food Safety Authority, and Land Transport Safety Authority may also require inspection or action relating to the importing process. The Government website also discusses aspects of the importing process .

The Importing Process

The first step in the importing process is to determine the specific requirements for the commodity you wish to import by searching for the appropriate Import Health Standard. If there is an import health standard, it will tell you what you need to do to succesfully import your commodity. This may or may not include official certification. More information is available on requesting the development of an import health standard.

Plants, Animals, Fresh/Saltwater Organisms and Other Imports may need to be quarantined or held in a transitional or containment facility. Transitional facilities hold, inspect, treat, identify or destroy and dispose of uncleared risk goods imported into New Zealand. They operate under a standard which details the minimum requirements for approval and monitoring transitional facilities functions. For Animal Imports, there may be additional requirements that apply for Animal Welfare.

MPI also has responsibility to ensure that official treatments being applied to imported risk goods provide the best practicable level of control. It has designed and operates a system of control over official Treatment and Treatment providers activities to ensure that only competent organisations and individuals are involved with the delivery of official treatment activities.

Ships, Vessels, Aircraft and Containers/Cargo are also subject to specific requirements in order to enter New Zealand. See the relevant sections for further information.


Last Updated: 31 July 2013

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33