All seacraft entering New Zealand must arrive at an approved place of first arrival (POFA). Find out the procedures you must follow if you're bringing your seacraft from an overseas country to New Zealand.

Biosecurity and Customs requirements

All care has been taken to ensure information about these biosecurity arrangements is complete. International aircraft operators should be be aware that, as well as complying with MPI's biosecurity requirements, they will also have to meet requirements of other border agencies like the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs).

All international craft must arrive at a POFA

Seacraft include:

  • commercial shipping vessels
  • naval vessels
  • tankers
  • project vessels, like dredges and oil rigs
  • recreational vessels, like cruise vessels and yachts.

All international seacraft must first arrive at a port that is an approved Place of First Arrival (POFA) and be fully cleared before moving on to other ports in New Zealand.

Once a vessel is fully cleared, it can proceed to its next destination. If your vessel requires further inspection or is under surveillance, then it can only travel where authorised by MPI.

More information is available in a standard – 'Requirements for Vessels Arriving in New Zealand'.

Download Requirements for Vessels Arriving in New Zealand [PDF, 496 KB]

Choosing a place of first arrival

Most POFA are approved only for certain types of vessels and certain types of cargo.

If you are a seacraft operator, you need to make sure your planned POFA can manage your requirements, and that there are appropriate arrangements and facilities available for your load.

You need to contact the port authorities where you are intending your vessel to arrive.

Find out more:

Who to contact

If you have questions about places of first arrival, including fees and charges, email

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