WHAT FOOD AND OTHER ITEMS CAN YOU SEND?
Use our tool to help you find out
We've got a tool to help you quickly get an answer about whether your food or other item is allowed into New Zealand. We don't have everything listed in the tool but it covers the food and other items we most frequently get asked about. The tool will also tell you whether there are any weight or quantity restrictions.
Check what you may need to declare
Parcels and other articles being sent to New Zealand from overseas require a declaration sticker. This is issued by the postal service in the overseas country and usually contains the content's description, weight and value. No declaration is required for letters.
Before you mail something to New Zealand, find out about items considered risk goods, which you need to declare.
Incoming mail is screened at the border
We check mail at the border before it enters New Zealand to ensure it is safe and does not pose any biosecurity risks. Mail that may contain risk goods, like food, souvenirs, or seeds, will be opened and examined and may be detained.
Assessing your parcel
Parcels are screened at the mail centre and remain in the custody of your postal service throughout the clearance process.
Your parcel's tracking status (provided by your postal service) may say “Biosecurity Assessment”. This means we are assessing your parcel. If the parcel meets biosecurity requirements, it will be released.
If you are waiting for your parcel, contact your postal service in the first instance.
Sometimes we require further information about your parcel
In some cases we may require further information before mail can be cleared to enter the country. In this circumstance, an MPI Import Declaration is needed to enable the release of your parcel.
If you are using NZ Post, your parcel’s tracking status may say, "MPI Import Entry Required". This is to let you know more information is required.
Your postal service will email you further details about what you need to do. In most cases, you will need to provide a copy of the receipt (or other proof of purchase) with a description of the items so your postal service can complete the declaration on your behalf.
We may contact you if risk goods are found
If your goods pose a biosecurity risk, either your postal service or MPI will contact you about your options. MPI will normally send a letter unless an email address is visible on the parcel.
Make sure your mail doesn't contain any prohibited items and that you don't use packaging containing prohibited items. This includes:
- plants, plant materials, and seeds
- animal products
- straw and rattan items
- wooden items and products
- live animals
- endangered species.
You usually can't send anything in the post which is:
- inadequately packaged
- containing cash.
For more information on prohibited items visit the NZ Post website
Who to contact
If you have questions about clearing overseas mail, email email@example.com