Taking food overseas

When taking or sending food out of New Zealand as a gift or for personal use, you need to know and follow the rules of the destination country.

Check the rules first

Before you take or send food out of New Zealand, check:

Find out what foods you can take with you

To find out what food you can take to the country you are travelling to, contact the country's embassy or representative in New Zealand.

Advice for specific countries

Taking animal products to the European Union

The European Union doesn't usually allow travellers to bring meat or dairy products with them.

There are some exemptions from these restrictions if the food is infant milk, baby food, or required for medical reasons. It must:

  • not require refrigeration before opening
  • be packaged in a form for direct sale to the final consumer
  • be in sealed packaging, unless in current use.

Sending food to the USA  

Before posting any food items to the United States of America, you may need to complete an online form to advise US authorities of its arrival.

This applies to any manufactured food or drink for either humans or animals, including personal gifts. It does not apply to homemade foods being sent as personal gifts to individuals in the US.

Parcels or packets containing food or drink may be returned to you or destroyed.

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.

Taking or sending NZ honey overseas  

In general, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the USA allow limited quantities of honey if it is in unopened, commercially packed containers.

For more information, contact the relevant embassy in New Zealand or departments in the destination country.

There are no MPI restrictions on travellers taking honey out of New Zealand for their personal or non-commercial use.

Restricted foods can't be taken from NZ

While there are very few restrictions on taking food out of New Zealand, there are some foods that you can't take out or you need a permit to take out.

Exporter registration not needed

You don't need to register as an exporter to take animal products (including food) overseas, as long as they are for your personal or non-commercial use.

Find out more

Who to contact

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

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