Fees and charges when importing seeds for sowing

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

What our fees cover

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

Activities and services we charge for include:

  • import permits
  • border clearance inspections
  • laboratory costs.

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

Import permit

Some seeds for sowing need a permit before they can be imported into New Zealand. The import health standard (IHS) will tell you if a permit is needed.

Fee typeFee (excl GST)Fee (incl GST)
Application for permit to import seeds for sowing  $191.95* $220.74*
Biosecurity advice and assessment, including assessment for equivalence measures – hourly rate for activities taking 30 minutes or more, charged in 15 minute increments $102.27 $117.61

* 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

MPI may charge you for costs related to inspecting your seeds when they arrive in New Zealand.

You may be charged extra fees if MPI's biosecurity inspector has to:

  • travel to inspect your goods
  • wait before inspection can start
  • be called out after hours.

Charges for MPI inspectors, including travel charges

Fee type Fee (excl GST)Fee (incl GST) 
Biosecurity inspector – hourly rate* $102.27  $117.61
Travel charges for MPI inspectors
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.
*Hourly rate charges also apply to waiting times.

Testing and treatment costs

If your seeds need testing or treating for pests, you'll need to pay any costs associated with these services.

Testing and/or treatment can be done at either MPI's Plant Health and Environment Laboratory or an MPI-approved facility.

Quarantine costs

Some seeds for sowing – those deemed as economically important to New Zealand or high risk – must be quarantined at a level 3 quarantine facility when they arrive in New Zealand.

MPI will also inspect your seeds to ensure they are safe for release.

Contact the individual plant quarantine facility for information about its fees and charges.

Find out more

Who to contact

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

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