Fees and charges for importing: general

You'll need to pay for services provided by MPI and other providers you use when importing. This page gives an overview of fees and charges – for more detailed information check the importing process for your product.

Changes from 1 July 2018

In February 2018, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) consulted widely about our amended and new charges. We incorporated much of the feedback from people we consulted and announced the amended and new fees in May 2018. The new fees came into effect on 1 July 2018.

What you'll be charged

The rates we charge you from 1 July 2018 will depend on when your application or work began. If you have work with MPI that started before July 2018, this will continue to be charged at the old rates until the work is complete.

Any work or applications received and accepted by MPI (and the applications are assessed as complete) before 1 July 2018 will be charged at old rates until the work is complete.

All work and applications received and accepted by MPI on or after 1 July 2018 will be charged at the new rates.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about how these changes apply to you:

User-pays approach to fees

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recovers the costs for biosecurity inspections and other services it supplies to importers. You may be charged by MPI or other service providers for services like:

  • permits
  • testing and sampling
  • laboratory analysis
  • cleaning and treating
  • travel costs for MPI inspectors
  • inspections of goods
  • destruction, transportation, re-shipment, or other disposal of goods
  • storage and quarantine of goods.

MPI may also charge you for its actual and reasonable costs in providing these services. This includes costs like courier charges, stationery and accommodation.

MPI's fees, charges, and levies for importers are prescribed by legislation. You can find out more on the NZ Legislation website:

Border clearance charges

MPI may inspect any imported products or animals to ensure they're safe to enter the country.

Biosecurity activities and services we may charge for include:

  • checking your documents
  • inspecting your products or animals
  • travel and callout costs.

For most commodities, MPI inspections are charged at an hourly rate. In a few cases, MPI will charge you a fixed rate. Fixed rates will be listed on the individual commodity pages.

Charges for MPI inspectors, veterinary inspectors and call-out costs

Fee typeFee (excl GST)Fee (incl GST)
Biosecurity inspector or advisor – hourly rate* $102.27 $117.61
Veterinarian or veterinary inspector for live animal inspections – hourly rate* $186.30 $214.25
If the MPI inspector has to work outside of their work-site's rostered hours, callout charges will apply.
Call-out charges
Biosecurity inspector/advisor – at time-and-a-half $116.16 $133.58
Biosecurity inspector/advisor – at double time $130.05 $149.56
Biosecurity inspector/advisor – on a public holiday $222.28 a day, plus hourly rates $255.62 a day, plus hourly rates
Veterinarian or veterinary inspector – at time-and-a-half $252.17 $290.00
Veterinarian or veterinary inspector – at double time $318.04 $365.75
Veterinarian or veterinary inspector – on a public holiday $845.13 a day, plus applicable hourly rates $971.90 a day, plus applicable hourly rates

*Hourly rate charges also apply to waiting times.

Travel charges for MPI inspectors

If the MPI inspector or advisor has to travel to inspect your goods, you may have to pay travel costs.

Type of charge

Fee (excl GST)

Fee (incl GST)

Travel within zone 1 – up to 4 km from base $34.86 $40.09
Travel within zone 2 – over 4 km and up to 10 km from base $70.75 $81.36
Travel within zone 3 – over 10 km and up to 25 km from base $109.24 $125.63
Travel within zone 4 – over 25 km and up to 50 km from base $149.19 $171.57
Travel more than 50 km 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.

Testing and treatment costs

You may face extra charges if your imported products need to be tested or treated. These services must be done by an MPI-approved provider. You may have to pay the costs of:

  • identifying any harmful organisms
  • moving your products to a transitional or containment facility
  • storing your products
  • destroying contaminated items.

If MPI has to re-inspect your products, we may charge you for these services, as well as for any other actual and reasonable costs we incur.

How much will it cost?

You'll find some of the fees for importing individual products on the fees and charges pages for each product, commodity, or animal. Costs will vary, depending on what you're importing and the amount of work needed to get MPI clearance.

How to pay

You may need to pay MPI in advance for some services, like applying for an import permit. In other cases, like for an MPI inspector’s time or travel costs, MPI will send you an invoice.

You can pay by direct credit, cheque or credit card. You'll find more details on the relevant documents.

If you regularly import goods, it's easiest to set up a credit account with MPI.

Fees from other agencies

The New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) may require importers to pay GST and possibly other taxes on imports, as well as its own fees. As an importer you need to be aware of all the costs you may face from Customs and other agencies.

Who to contact

If you are applying for an import permit, contact plantimports@mpi.govt.nz

If you have questions about MPI's fees and charges for importers, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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