Bringing and sending items from India

If you're travelling to New Zealand from India, you might have something special that you want to bring (like food ingredients, sweets, and cultural items). Find out what you can bring and avoid a $400 fine.

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English with Hindi subtitles (1:23)

What's banned?

There are some items you definitely cannot bring to New Zealand. These include:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • flowers and seeds
  • prasad in any form – rice, Sundal (boiled pulses mixed with spices), milk, Panchamirtham (fruits, honey, jaggery, nuts, spices mixture), sugar candy, nuts, pepper, salt, sand from ant hill, Tulsi leaves, Powa (pounded rice mixed with coconut and sugar)
  • fresh meat or fish
  • grains and pulses (like lentils, chickpeas, pigeon peas, and black gram)
  • honey and bee products (including tonics with honey such as Chyawanprash)
  • tonics (including Chyawanprash).

If you choose to bring any banned items to New Zealand, you must declare them on your Passenger Arrival Card. Or you can dispose of them on your arrival in a marked biosecurity bin. 

What you must declare

Your Passenger Arrival Card has a list of the items you must declare. Besides banned items, they include:

  • sweets and wafers
  • food and cooking ingredients
  • plants and plant products
  • animal products
  • used outdoor equipment.

If you are unsure whether an item is allowed into New Zealand, declare it on the arrival card when you land. Border staff will then check what you have – many items may still be allowed into the country. Doing the right thing will save you at least a $400 fine for not declaring.

Find out more about these types of risk items

Completing your Passenger Arrival Card

All passengers entering New Zealand must complete the Passenger Arrival Card.

The card contains questions about what biosecurity risk items you are bringing to New Zealand. You must declare the items you're bringing into the country on the card. This helps us check whether these items pose a threat to New Zealand. If we find that you have undeclared biosecurity items, you will be fined at least $400.

Copies of the cards are available to view on the Customs Service website:

You must declare all the items you are carrying with you or in your luggage.

What happens when you declare risk items?

Many items you declare can still enter New Zealand but it will depend on the packaging and how they were processed. Our quarantine officers may need to inspect these items to make sure they are safe to enter the country.

Our biosecurity staff (quarantine officers) will assess your declared items by asking you more questions and inspecting them. Some biosecurity risk items you declare may be allowed into the country if:

  • a quarantine officer is satisfied your items don’t pose a risk
  • they have been treated by us at the border.

However, some items may not be allowed into the country no matter what. We may confiscate or destroy these.

If your items need to be treated, we'll send them to a private independent treatment company. You can collect these items at a later date. Treatment costs may apply.

Examples of risk items

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Food and cooking ingredients

All food items that you bring into New Zealand need to be declared. This includes raw ingredients for cooking. Food items include:

  • meat
  • eggs
  • seafood
  • pickles (including pickled meat and fish)
  • dried mushrooms and fungi
  • seeds for human consumption and for processing into food
  • prasad in any form – rice, Sundal (boiled pulses mixed with spices), milk, Panchamirtham (fruits, honey, jaggery, nuts, spices mixture), sugar candy, nuts, pepper, salt, sand from ant hill, Tulsi leaves, Powa (pounded rice mixed with coconut and sugar)
  • nuts, spices, herbs
  • dried, cooked, or preserved fruit and vegetables (including pickles).
Sweets and wafers

You can bring sweets, snacks, and wafers from India to New Zealand. But make sure you declare them when you arrive in New Zealand.

Plants and plant products

All plant material must be declared. This includes any offerings, like flowers from temples. Examples of plants and plant products that you must declare include:

  • dried and fresh flowers (including those from temples used for offerings)
  • seeds
  • religious offerings and prasad
  • plant cuttings
  • items made of bamboo, cane, rattan, coconut, straw
  • items made of wood
  • any souvenirs made from plant material (like corn and straw, including items stuffed with seeds and straw)
  • herbal medicines, health supplements, and homeopathic remedies.
Animal products

This could include novelty items, souvenirs, and ornaments. Our staff need to inspect all animal products.

Animal products include:

  • traditional medicines
  • feathers
  • eggs
  • meat
  • honey and honey products (including cosmetics, health supplements, and medicines)
  • shells and clams
  • ivory
  • turtle shell items
  • coral
  • products made from snakeskin or whalebone.

Novelty items, souvenirs, and ornaments should be declared if they have any parts made from:

  • animal fibres or feathers
  • animal hides and skins.
Used outdoor equipment

We need to inspect all equipment that you used for hiking, sporting, and camping. This type of equipment can carry soil and plant material from other countries into New Zealand. That material may carry pests, diseases, and seeds. All of these can pose a threat to our environment and wildlife.

You can buy many Indian products in New Zealand

Many Indian food ingredients are easy to get in New Zealand, at speciality supermarkets and stores. You can find New Zealand stores that sell Indian food ingredients by searching on the internet.

For your convenience, we've compiled a list of stores in New Zealand's main cities.

Help us protect New Zealand

New Zealand has a natural environment that is well-known internationally. We're home to horticultural and agricultural industries that export goods all around the world. As a visitor to New Zealand we ask you to play your part to help protect our country from pests and diseases.

You must follow the law around what is allowed into New Zealand, or you may be fined at least $400.

Find out more

Use our online tool to find out what you can bring or post to New Zealand

Biosecurity resources for people from India coming to New Zealand

Contact us 

If you have questions about what you can bring into New Zealand, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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