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Bringing cats and dogs to NZ

If you want to bring cats or dogs 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. 

In this section

I tēnei wāhanga


12 February 2021: Online import permit applications

From 1 March 2021, all import and transit permit applications must be sent through the online permit application system. 

Animal and plant import permits (APIPS)

22 December 2020: Dogs imported into NZ for onward travel to Australia 

All dogs which have been imported into New Zealand require testing for Leishmania infantum and Ehrlichia canis prior to entry into Australia.

We strongly recommend that all dogs being imported into New Zealand and which are being exported to Australia at a later date, are tested for the diseases before they come to New Zealand.

However, pre-entry tests cannot be used for certification requirements of dogs to Australia. Your dog will have to be tested again before it's sent to Australia. That test must be done after your dog has been living in New Zealand for at least 21 days. (And dogs cannot be sent to Australia until they have lived in New Zealand for more than 90 days).

Note that Leishmania infantum is an unwanted, notifiable organism in New Zealand. If your dog tests positive for the disease in New Zealand:

  • it is unlikely your dog will be allowed to remain in New Zealand
  • it will not be eligible for export to Australia.

Further information

Sending cats and dogs to Australia - MPI

Sending cats and dogs to Australia -

If you're sending pets from a non-approved country (for example, Malaysia) via a group 2 or 3 country to Australia, refer to:

Cats -

Dogs -

19 November 2020: Pet imports and Covid-19

Animal Imports has further extended the import permit validity period to accommodate the ongoing disruption to global movement for cat and dog importers.

The permit validity period is now 6 months (from 30 days), or until the last date the rabies requirements are valid (whichever occurs first).

Importers and pet transport companies are responsible for changing their bookings with quarantine facilities. MPI does not need to be notified.

Permits are processed within 10 working days of a fully correct application submitted through the online import permit application system (APIPS):

Animal and plant import permits (APIPS)

The tests and treatments timeframes have been extended by 10 days. This is on top of the timeframes listed in the import health standard for cats and dogs.

The veterinary examination must still be done in the 2 days before shipment.

Import Health Standard: Cats and Dogs [PDF, 282 KB]

If the entry date changes and the new date is outside the permit validity period, we will update the permit free of charge. Any other changes incur the normal fee for changes.