General importing requirements

Importers are responsible for helping keep New Zealand pest-free and ensuring any food they import is safe to eat. Find out more about importer responsibilities.

Biosecurity requirements

Importers must meet the biosecurity requirements in import health standards to import plants and plant products, animals and animal products, and other commodities that may carry organisms, like sea containers and personal effects. If there is no import health standard, you will not usually be able to import the product. Import health standards explain what importers must do if they are bringing in:

  • plants and plant products
  • animals and animal products
  • other commodities, like containers and personal effects.

MPI has created step-by-step guides for importers based on the type of product they're importing. These guides give more detail about what you need to do to successfully import your product, commodity, or animal.

Food importers must register

Alongside biosecurity requirements, if you're importing food, you must register with MPI as a food importer.

All imports must be cleared by Customs

All commercially imported goods must be cleared through New Zealand Customs Service, so importers need to register with Customs and submit an import entry or electronic cargo information (ECI).

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