Requirements for bringing your vessel to New Zealand

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 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 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.

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.

Your choice of PoFA will depend on the type of vessel, the cargo being carried, and the number of passengers on board. It will depend whether you are bringing, for example, imported animals or pets, cargo such as bulk foods, or passengers and their luggage.

Changes to places approved for small recreational craft

To manage biosecurity risks of small recreational craft, PoFA must have access to an MPI-approved transitional facility for haul out and decontamination. Because of this, the number and location of MPI-approved PoFA for small recreational craft has changed. 

Contact the port authorities for where you are planning to arrive.

Find out more:

Arriving at a place of first arrival

On arrival at a PoFA, a biosecurity inspector will inspect and clear your craft and passengers into New Zealand. As the person in charge of the seacraft, you must have the correct and complete documentation.

If your seacraft is cleared for entry, it is usually then free to travel to other ports in the country. If it needs further inspection or is under surveillance, then it can only travel where MPI allows it to.

Who to contact

If you have questions about places of first arrival, email

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