Steps to importing ornamental animal products

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What you need to know

An overview of importing ornamental animal products from start to finish.

To successfully import ornamental animal products you need to know about:

  • the import health standard (IHS) and guidance document for your product
  • whether your ornamental animal product can be imported into New Zealand
  • whether your ornamental animal product is listed as a prohibited item under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreement
  • New Zealand Customs Service requirements
  • preparing the correct documents to accompany the items
  • complying with on-arrival inspections.

Importing related products

Procedures for importing products related to ornamental animal products are set out elsewhere on the website. Follow these steps if you're importing:

Are you using wood packaging?

If your consignment is shipped to New Zealand on wooden pallets, or wood has been used to package any part of your consignment, you'll also need to comply with the requirements for importing wood packaging.

What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

Comply with the import health standard requirements

The import health standard (IHS) for ornamental animal products will tell you what you need to do to import your product into New Zealand. Read it thoroughly to make sure you can comply with all the requirements.

Download the IHS for ornamental animal products [PDF, 270 KB]

There is also a guidance document, which provides advice and extra information about importing your product. It will help you understand and comply with the IHS requirements.

Download the guidance document for ornamental animal products [PDF, 136 KB]

The guidance document also has model veterinary certificates that have to be completed. These certificates tell you the treatments your products may need to undergo before coming to New Zealand.

Check the CITES agreement and with NZ Customs

Products (such as ivory) that come from endangered animals cannot be imported unless you have the right permits. Check the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to find out whether your ornamental animal product is covered by CITES and needs a CITES permit.

Items arriving in New Zealand in breach of CITES may be seized on arrival by the Department of Conservation.

You should also check with the New Zealand Customs Service whether:

  • you can import the product without restriction
  • the product will be subject to duties or tariffs
  • an NZ Customs permit is needed.

Visit the NZ Customs website to:

Prepare documentation to accompany your goods

You may need to have supporting documentation ready when your ornamental animal products arrive in New Zealand. Documentation will depend on IHS requirements and may include:

  • a completed veterinary certificate
  • a manufacturer's declaration.

Refer to the IHS and guidance document to find out about the documentation you will need.

Getting your import documents

How you know you've met MPI requirements.

When your consignment arrives in New Zealand, a biosecurity officer will inspect your documentation. This may include completed, signed, and stamped original veterinary certificates and other supporting documentation from the exporting country.

Your goods may also be inspected.

Your consignment will be given biosecurity clearance when all the necessary documentation is complete and MPI is satisfied that the entry conditions of the import health standard (IHS) have been met.

If your ornamental animal products do not meet the IHS, they will not be given clearance. The options for uncleared products are to be:

  • further treated until they comply with the IHS
  • reshipped out of New Zealand
  • destroyed.
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