Fees and charges when bringing pets to NZ

You'll be charged for services provided by MPI and other service providers when you're importing pets.

Charges from 18 September 2015

The charges for vet inspections for imported pets are changing. From 18 September 2015, the vet inspection fee will increase to an hourly rate of $214.25 (including GST) to better reflect the actual cost of providing this service.

Cats and dogs from Australia

Pet imports from Australia between 1 December 2014 and 30 June 2015

We have recently identified an issue with fee regulations for veterinary inspections of pet cats and dogs imported from Australia, during the period of 1 December 2014 to 30 June 2015.

This means that we have charged an incorrect fee for veterinary inspections on arrival for imported cats and dogs from Australia during this period. Applications made during 1 December 2014 to 30 June 2015 should only have been charged at a fixed fee of $40.88 (GST inclusive) per pet, rather than the hourly rate which has been charged.

We are working through a process to resolve this issue as soon as possible and will take all reasonable steps to reimburse anyone who has been incorrectly charged.

Anyone who has imported a pet dog or cat from Australia during the period of 1 December 2014 to 30 June 2015 should contact MPI by emailing costrecoverypets@mpi.govt.nz

What our fees cover

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) calculates fees on a cost-recovery basis.

Activities and services we may charge for include:

  • border clearance inspections
  • veterinary inspections of your pets
  • travel costs for MPI inspectors.

Not all the fees on this page may apply to you and there could be other charges not listed here – like transport costs.  

Pets that can be imported

Animals imported for commercial use do not qualify as pets under the Biosecurity (Costs) Regulations 2010.  Check the other live animals importing pages for fees and charges for these animals.

Common pets that can be imported into New Zealand can include:

  • cats and dogs (from approved countries)
  • rabbits and guinea pigs (only from Australia)
  • chinchillas (only from the UK).

For further information on what types of pets that can be imported, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Import permit

Pets, apart from cats and dogs from Australia, need an import permit.

Application feeFee (excl GST)Fee (incl GST)
  • Permit to import cats and dogs from rabies-free countries (category 2)
  • Permit to import cats and dogs from countries or territories where rabies is absent or well controlled (category 3 countries plus cats or dogs arriving on boats)
  • Permit to import live animals (includes guinea pigs, rabbits and chinchillas)
$191.95* $220.74*

* If processing your application takes longer than one-and-a-half hours, additional time will be charged at an hourly rate of $102.27 excluding GST or $117.61 including GST.

Border clearance charges

Fee for initial pet inspections

In most cases, when arriving in New Zealand your pet(s) will be inspected at the border. This inspection is required to determine if an animal should be cleared or directed to a transitional (quarantine) facility. There may be other specific requirements your animal must meet set out in import health standards.

For inspection of your pet there are 3 rates. The applicable rate is dependent on the country from which your pet has arrived and whether or not your pet requires a veterinary inspection.

Country of originFee for each animal (excl GST)Fee for each animal (incl GST)
Pets that do not require veterinary inspection $49.61 fixed fee $57.05 fixed fee
Pets that require a veterinary inspection $186.30 per hour $214.25 per hour

If your pet is not given clearance on arrival, it will be directed to an MPI-approved transitional (quarantine) facility and you will incur the hourly veterinary inspection charges.

In some cases, you may be charged an additional fee if your inspection results in additional costs, for example, your pet has to be treated for parasites.

Veterinary inspection charges

In the following situations, your pet will be inspected by a vet at an MPI-approved transitional (quarantine) facility and hourly veterinary inspection charges will apply:

  • If your pet is not given clearance on arrival and is directed to an MPI-approved transitional facility; and/or
  • If an import health standard specifies that your pet must be inspected and monitored at an MPI-approved transitional facility.

Search import health standards

Below are 2 types of hourly rates that you may be charged, depending on which country your pet arrived from.

Hourly rate for veterinary inspectors *Fee (excl GST)Fee (incl GST)
Veterinary inspectors inspecting or monitoring live animals, including pets, from the EU or Switzerland $94.38 $108.54
Veterinarians inspecting or monitoring pets from all other countries (within normal working hours) $186.30 $214.25

*Hourly rates also apply to waiting times.

Travel charges

If the MPI inspector has to travel to a transitional facility, travel charges may apply:

Travel charges (distance travelled)Fee (excl GST)Fee (incl GST)
Zone 1 – up to 4km from base $34.86 $40.09
Zone 2 – more than 4km to 10km from base $70.75 $81.36
Zone 3 – more than 10km to 25km from base $109.24 $125.63
Zone 4 – more than 25km to 50km from base $149.19 $171.57
More than 50km from base Hourly rates, plus a mileage charge of $0.67 a kilometre. Other travel-related costs may also apply. Hourly rates, plus a mileage charge of $0.7705 a kilometre. Other travel-related costs may also apply.

If the veterinary inspector is called out after hours, or on a public holiday, other charges may apply.

Quarantine costs

Pets (apart from those from Australia) must be put into an MPI-approved quarantine facility for at least 10 days after arriving in New Zealand.

Cats and dogs from Australia may need to be put into an MPI-approved quarantine facility if they:

  • can’t be cleared at the border because they are unwell or have ticks or fleas
  • arrive outside of inspection hours.

Contact individual quarantine facilities for their fees and charges.

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing fees and charges, email info@mpi.govt.nz.

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