Actively managing biosecurity risk entry points
Our Biosecurity Inspectors conduct checks across all border pathways; air and sea passengers, air and sea cargo and mail.
They are working to actively manage biosecurity risks and are ready to respond if any pests or diseases arrive.
Passengers arriving in New Zealand will enter at what we call a “Place of First Arrival”. Here people have the opportunity to dispose of any risk goods in our amnesty bins, before passing through the biosecurity processing area.
There are strict rules for what can and can't be brought into Aotearoa. On arrival, passengers must declare any items they are carrying that are listed on the arrivals card. Some items are prohibited or require inspection by one of our highly trained officers, and if they are not declared, the passenger will incur a fine or be prosecuted under New Zealand’s Biosecurity Act 1993. Disposed items are sent for secure destruction as 'quarantine waste.'
Take a look at the declare or dispose list
Passengers are assessed for their risk based on their arrival card declaration. They may be diverted to the search bench, luggage x-ray or have an interaction with a detector dog before exiting the arrival hall.
Many of New Zealand’s priority pests and diseases are excellent at hiding, when you get to your accommodation and unpack, you should keep an eye out for any unexpected hitch-hiking organisms. Report these to Biosecurity New Zealand’s hotline at 0800 80 99 66 or online at report.mpi.govt.nz/pest
Ordering or sending mail
Biosecurity officers inspect mail that arrives at the International Mail Centre, as well as unaccompanied personal and commercial mail cargo that arrives via sea or airplane.
Clearance of personal goods and mail to New Zealand
When opening items sent from overseas, you should keep an eye out for any unexpected plant, animal and other organic products as well as any hitch-hiking organisms. Early detection of harmful new pests and diseases is a vital part of our biosecurity system. Every New Zealander has a responsibility to be vigilant for and report suspected new organisms.
Report these to Biosecurity New Zealand’s hotline at 0800 80 99 66 or online at report.mpi.govt.nz/pest
Biosecurity New Zealand has a dedicated team of specialists to investigate and respond to findings.
Cargo and other imports
Biosecurity New Zealand has extensive controls in place to protect New Zealand from biosecurity risks across a wide range of products and commodities, including:
- plants and plant products, including timber
- animal products and animals, including pets
- biological products and organisms
- vessels and aircraft containers and cargo.
Biosecurity New Zealand also places restrictions on where aircraft and seacraft can arrive in New Zealand to make sure proper inspections can take place of the craft, passengers, and cargo.
Any items or products that could potentially contain unwanted pests or organisms are subject to an import health standard.
Find out more about Import health standards
Learn more about our work
About Biosecurity in New Zealand
Pests and diseases outside New Zealand