Pets travelling to NZ

If you want to bring pets to NZ, find out what to do, what to expect, costs, and how to apply. There are biosecurity requirements to prevent the spread of harmful pests and diseases.



PET IMPORTS AND COVID-19

Permits extended and you can ask for a hold

COVID-19 has caused disruptions and delays to international travel, including for cats and dogs coming to New Zealand. In response, MPI will put existing permit requests on hold when requested by pet transporter companies and pet owners. When advised to proceed there will be no further charge. As soon as a permit application has been assessed the permit fee is payable regardless of issue status.

Import permits for cats and dogs will be valid for up to 30 days (not the usual 10 days).

  • Existing permits can be extended and reissued without any further charge.
  • Permits will only be issued or reissued for cats and dogs from category 3 countries if the rabies vaccination and titre test are valid through to the end of the 30-day period.
  • Importers and pet transporters are responsible for changing the quarantine booking if necessary.

As well as this, a 10-day extension will be applied to all import permits. That is, 10-days is added on to the timeframe in the import requirements. For example, a test that needs to be done in 16 days prior to shipment, can be done in 26 days prior to shipment. Note, the veterinary examination still needs to be done in the two days prior to shipment.

Restrictions on imports of some pets

Birds

New Zealand has a unique population of rare and endangered birds and is free of a number of major bird and poultry diseases. No imports of live birds are allowed until the risks have been thoroughly examined and an import health standard (IHS) has been developed.

IHS for companion birds

MPI is developing an import health standard for companion birds. It will cover:

  • parrots from any country
  • parrot hatching eggs and passerine hatching eggs from Europe, and Australia.

Other restricted pets and animals

Other pets that cannot be imported into New Zealand are:

  • ferrets
  • guinea pigs (except from Australia)
  • mice and rats (except laboratory animals)
  • snakes and other reptiles (except some reptiles for zoos).

Who to contact

If you have questions about bringing a pet to New Zealand, email animal.imports@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: