Before pets can be imported to New Zealand, they need to meet health requirements. Requirements vary for each animal, and depend on their country of origin. MPI sets import health standards for pets to prevent unwanted diseases, pests, and animals from entering New Zealand.


COVID-19 has caused disruptions to international travel, and impacted the importation dates of cats and dogs into New Zealand. In response MPI will put existing permit requests on hold when requested by pet transporter companies and pet owners. When advised to proceed there will be no further charge. As soon as a permit application has been assessed the permit fee is payable regardless of issue status.

Import permits for cats and dogs will be valid for up to 30 days (not the usual 10 days).

  • Existing permits can be extended and reissued without any further charge.
  • Permits will only be issued or reissued for cats and dogs from category 3 countries if the rabies vaccination and titre test are valid through to the end of the 30-day period.
  • Importers and pet transporters are responsible for changing the quarantine booking if necessary.
  • The required timeframes for tests, treatments, and examinations have not changed.

As well as this, a 10-day extension will be applied to all import permits. If there are further transport delays beyond the 10-day extension (but no more than the 30-day validity period of the permit), retesting, repeat treatments, and repeat examinations will be required.

Restrictions on imports of some pets


New Zealand has a unique population of rare and endangered birds and is free of a number of major bird and poultry diseases. No imports of live birds are allowed until the risks have been thoroughly examined and an import health standard (IHS) has been developed.

IHS for companion birds

MPI is developing an import health standard for companion birds. It will cover:

  • parrots from any country
  • parrot hatching eggs and passerine hatching eggs from Europe, and Australia.

Other restricted pets and animals

Other pets that cannot be imported into New Zealand are:

  • ferrets
  • guinea pigs (except from Australia)
  • mice and rats (except laboratory animals)
  • snakes and other reptiles (except some reptiles for zoos).

Who to contact

If you have questions about bringing a pet to New Zealand, email

Last reviewed: