Taking food overseas

You can take most foods and animal products with you when you leave New Zealand – but you need to check if you can take these into your destination country.

Taking food or animal products overseas

Taking food out of New Zealand when you leave is different from sending it overseas. There are some things that you cannot send overseas but you can take them with you.

Aside from a small number of restricted products, you can take any food or animal products with you for personal use when you leave New Zealand. This includes carrying food or animal products in your checked or hand luggage.

However, some countries have quarantine or food safety requirements that stop you from bringing in foods or animal products. Countries can also limit the amount of some products you can bring in.

To find out more

To find out what food you can or can’t take to another country you should:

  • visit their appropriate government agency website, or
  • contact the destination country’s embassy or representative in New Zealand.

Australia: Bringing or mailing goods to Australia

USA: Bringing food into the US

United Kingdom: Bringing food, animals or plants into the UK

European Union: What can you take with you?

Foreign representatives to New Zealand: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Taking infant formula overseas

You can take infant formula out of New Zealand in your checked or hand luggage.

Taking infant formula overseas for personal use

Taking honey overseas

You can take honey out of New Zealand in your checked or hand luggage. Honey may be subject to greater restrictions if it is not in a commercially packed, unopened container.

Taking honey overseas

Taking home a trophy or hide

You can take home an animal trophy or hide that you acquired in New Zealand.

Taking home your trophy or hide from New Zealand

Restricted products

There are some products and items that can’t leave New Zealand or you need a permit to take overseas. This applies to many types of coral that you might pick up on a beach, for example.

Visit the New Zealand Customs website for more details.

Prohibited and restricted exports – NZ Customs Services

Taking food through airport security

Refer to your airline and departure airport policies for carry-on and airport security restrictions.

Quarantine officials in your destination country will enforce any quarantine or food safety requirements. They will also enforce any limits on the quantity of certain products you can bring in.

Taking food to the Pacific Islands

When taking food, particularly cooked foods, to the Pacific Islands, you need to make sure the food stays safe to eat.

Learn more about food safety when taking food to the Pacific Islands

Declare it

Always declare any food, animal, or plant products on the appropriate arrival documentation.

Who to contact

If you have questions about taking food overseas, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Related information

Exporting food for business or commercial reasons (including e-commerce)

Taking trade samples overseas for business or commercial reasons

Sending food or animal products overseas

Remember, the information on this web page is about taking food with you overseas. The rules are different if you are sending food, for example by post or courier. If you want to send food or animal products (including infant formula or honey) overseas by post, courier, or freight by ship or air there are strict requirements you need to meet.

Sending food or animal products overseas for personal use or as a gift

Last reviewed: