Arriving at a location that isn't an approved place of first arrival

Prior approval is needed to arrive at air or sea ports that are not approved places of first arrival. Find out about the regulations.

Prior approval needed

If you plan to arrive at a location that is not listed as a place of first arrival (POFA) for your aircraft or seacraft, you need to get prior approval from MPI's Director-General and other government agencies. You need to seek approval at least 10 working days before your arrival. It is an offence to arrive at a location or port that isn't an approved POFA without prior approval, except in extraordinary circumstances, like an emergency.

Applications need to state why you need to arrive at a place that is not a POFA for MPI to consider approval. Your application has to be lodged with the NZ Customs Service (Customs). Different forms should be completed depending whether you are arriving by sea or air.

Download the Customs application for airport approval

Download the Customs application for seaport approval

You may also need to apply separately to MPI

Note, some ports are approved as a Customs port but may not be approved as a biosecurity port, therefore application must be made to MPI to arrive at such ports.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, including fees and charges, email:

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