Steps to importing vehicles, machinery, or parts
If you're importing vehicles, machinery, or parts (including tyres) you need to make sure they're clean and meet other requirements. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.
When to alert MPI
If you notice any biosecurity contamination during or following the importation of your product, contact MPI immediately.
Pest and disease hotline: 0800 80 99 66
Who to contact
If you have a question about importing vehicles, machinery, and parts, email email@example.com
If you have a question about brown marmorated stink bug requirements for vehicles, machinery, and parts, email BMSB@mpi.govt.nz
Follow the steps
Importing vehicles, machinery, and parts
This import process is for the following goods arriving in New Zealand as cargo (sea freight or air freight):
- vehicles including land vehicles, watercraft, and aircraft
- all forms of machinery
- parts from or for vehicles and machinery
- wire cables and ropes if used with land vehicles or machinery.
Importing related products
If you are importing vehicles, machinery, or parts in sea containers, read our information on importing sea containers
Summary of main requirements
To import vehicles, machinery, and parts you must:
- comply with the requirements of the Import Health Standard for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts (issued 31 August 2020)
- meet other commercial or government agency requirements, like those of the New Zealand Customs Service
- provide a declaration with details about your consignment
- comply with IHSs for sea containers and wood packaging, if applicable
- arrange to have vehicles and machinery inspected when they arrive.
More details about these requirements are in Step 2: What you need to do.
Check the import health standard (IHS) requirements
MPI issues import health standards for items that might bring pests and diseases to New Zealand and are considered biosecurity risks. An IHS lists the requirements you must meet when importing these risk goods. These requirements include what you need to do:
- in the exporting country before shipping
- during transit
- on arrival before items can be released in New Zealand.
Read the IHS and make sure you can meet all the requirements before making plans to import.
Download the IHS for vehicles, machinery, and parts [PDF, 565 KB]
Consider using a customs broker
A customs broker will help you get import entry clearance. Some services provided by the New Zealand Customs Service can only be accessed by registered customs brokers.
Many freight and transport companies employ their own brokers. If you need help finding one, contact the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation.
Meet other agencies' requirements
You'll need to check with other government agencies and meet their requirements.
Cleaning your vehicle, machinery, or parts
You must clean your vehicle, machinery, or parts before you ship these to New Zealand. This will reduce the risk of them carrying unwanted contaminants and pests, which can cause delays in getting your consignment cleared.
Used vehicles, machinery, and parts must be cleaned inside and out. Used outdoor or targeted machinery must be additionally certified as being clean. You need to use an MPI-approved cleaning certificate, and this must be submitted to MPI.
All rubbish and other goods that do not belong to a vehicle or machine must be removed so that MPI can perform on-arrival verification. After cleaning is done, make arrangements for treatment if this is required by the IHS.
If you are importing a used passenger vehicles (car), truck, bus, campervan, or caravan from Japan, the cleaning must be carried out by an MPI-approved system in Japan.
Detailed instructions are available for:
- cleaning a used vehicle [PDF, 2.1 MB]
- cleaning used outdoor machinery [PDF, 2.3 MB]
- cleaning used tyres [PDF, 741 KB]
Consider spraying the item
Spraying your item with insecticide is not compulsory but is recommended for added security. This treatment will reduce the chance of your consignment being delayed when it arrives in New Zealand.
Spraying is especially useful if you are importing from a country that has brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). You can read more about spraying and segregation on our BMSB page, as well as the general BMSB requirements for vehicles, machinery, and parts.
Register to use the Trade Single Window
The Trade Single Window is a joint initiative of the New Zealand Customs Service and MPI. It lets businesses securely exchange information with government agencies online. You need to register to use it.
Provide a declaration
You need to make a declaration about the item you're importing. Submit this declaration through the Trade Single Window. You should complete the declaration at least several days before the item is due to arrive in New Zealand. For a full list of the information requirements for vehicles, machinery, and parts, see section 2.1 of the IHS.
Your declaration needs to have:
- product identification numbers – for example, a vehicle identification number (VIN)
- make and model (applies only to whole vehicles and units of machinery)
- place of export and other countries where vehicles, machinery, and parts may have been used or stored before importation to New Zealand
- shipment details, including the container number (if applicable) and bill of lading
- the number and type of tyres (if applicable)
- names of the seller and buyer, and the buyer's full address.
Sea containers are biosecurity risk items. They must be taken to a transitional facility for inspection and unpacking before the contents are released to you. This will be arranged by your customs broker.
Before a sea container arrives in New Zealand, your customs broker must submit a declaration to New Zealand Customs Service and MPI through Trade Single Window (TSW). The details can be found on the Customs website.
Get a signed container quarantine declaration
Your container must be accompanied by a quarantine declaration. The declaration should be completed and signed by a manager of the packing or exporting facility in the country the goods are shipped from.
Sea container quarantine declaration for New Zealand [DOCX, 19 KB]
Expect used vehicles, machinery, and parts to be inspected
You should expect that MPI will verify used vehicles, machinery, and parts on arrival in New Zealand.
The place of inspection depends on the method of shipping. Items that are not imported in a sea container are inspected at the place of arrival – the airport or port. Items arriving in air containers and sea containers are usually inspected at a transitional facility or at a place of first arrival.
The biosecurity inspector will check all internal and external surfaces and spaces for contaminants such as insects, reptiles, plant material, snails, or soil.
Other government agencies may also want to inspect your vehicle – for example, the New Zealand Transport Agency or the New Zealand Customs Service.
Dealing with contamination
If contaminants are found the vehicle, machinery, or parts may be cleaned by MPI or dealt with in an MPI-approved facility.
If live pests are found in or on your item you will be given the option to:
- treat the contamination (for example, by fumigation or heat treatment)
- isolate the item until the organism is identified, and then arrange treatment if needed
- ship the product to another destination
- destroy the product [PDF, 240 KB]
The importer is responsible for the cost of any action that is required to be taken on arrival.
If you're using wood packaging for your item, you need to comply with the requirements for wood packaging.
A biosecurity clearance will be issued when your consignment has been inspected and meets all the requirements of the IHS.