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Ships and boats border clearance

Vessels arriving in New Zealand must meet strict biosecurity requirements to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases to New Zealand. Requirements include arriving at a place of first arrival approved to accept your vessel type and cargo.

In this section

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COVID-19 and the maritime sector

New Zealand’s maritime border will reopen to foreign-flagged vessels, including cruise ships, at 11.59pm on 31 July 2022. Details of any updates to the requirements that have been imposed to contain and control the spread of COVID-19 will be provided as they become available. 

Read more at COVID-19: Maritime sector – Ministry of Health


Ensure you have a clean hull before your vessel leaves for New Zealand

A clean hull may reduce any additional biosecurity-related costs and delays, should unforeseen itinerary disruptions occur.

  1. Get ahead of your biofouling: organise an underwater inspection and act on all biofouling found.
  2. Ensure that your most recent underwater inspection or underwater cleaning report is supplied to MPI.
  3. Ensure that all other relevant paperwork is supplied to MPI.
  4. Let MPI know as soon as a delay becomes likely.
  5. Reach out to MPI prior to departure for New Zealand if you are unsure of whether to carry out biofouling management, or to seek further advice.

Following these 5 steps improves the likelihood of MPI granting a request to extend your itinerary. 

Port congestion: Vessel delays – suggested steps to take before coming to New Zealand [PDF, 366 KB]

If you have any questions, email:, or 

Who to contact

If you have questions about bringing a vessel to New Zealand: