Plants & Plant Products

Whether fresh or dried, living or dead, large or small, common or rare, all plant material must be declared. Items may require treatment or an import permit, and some products will not be allowed to be imported at all.

Import health standards are put in place for the import of plants and plant products into New Zealand. These standards include the requirements that must be undertaken in the exporting country, during transit and during importation, before biosecurity clearance can be given. The standards exist in order to mitigate the risks associated with bringing risk items into New Zealand. See What you must declare for additional information.

All Commercial Importers should refer to the Standards and Regulations, Importing, Plants section of this site.

Nursery Stock

Only certain species of plants can be imported into New Zealand as nursery stock. A Phytosanitary Certificate (obtained from the country of origin) must accompany all nursery stock entering New Zealand. A permit to import will be required for all nursery stock. To find out what Nursery Stock can be imported, and for more information on the entry requirements refer to the Nursery Stock section.


Thousands of seed species can enter New Zealand once they have been positively identified and inspected by MAFBNZ Inspectors. Other seeds must undergo field inspections, testing or treatment before biosecurity clearance is granted. To find out which species can be imported as seed for sowing, and for more information on the entry requirements refer to the Importing Seed for Sowing section.

Fresh Cut Flowers and Foliage

Only specific species of fresh cut flowers and foliage can be imported into New Zealand, where they have been assessed from a specific country. Information on the requirements for is available in Importing Cut Flowers and Foliage.

Forest and Wood Products

The import of non-propagable forest and wood products is covered by various Import Health Standards. Wood products imported for personal use or accompanied by passengers will be inspected on arrival in New Zealand for evidence of pest infestation. Refer to the Personal Travellers section for more information. Wooden items, especially those made of untreated wood, such as traditional carvings and ornaments, can harbour wood boring insects and other pests. You should consult What You Must Declare to find out about restricted items. Consult Importing non-propagable wood products for additional information.

Fruit and Vegetables

In general, fresh fruits and vegetables are prohibited entry due to their risk status in New Zealand. See What You Must Declare. Fresh fruit and vegetables can only be imported, where they have been assessed from a specific country, and a specific Import Health Standard or schedule is in place. Find out more information in Importing Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.

Plant Products and Other Food Items

Plant products fall into three major categories: human consumption, animal consumption and products not intended for consumption. Items manufactured from plant materials may be carrying either viable seed or insects. Generally an inspection is required to determine the risk status.

Dried edible plant products require inspection on arrival to determine risk status. In the case of some seeds (especially popping corn) specific conditions for importation apply. All nuts for eating, particularly those in shells, require inspection. In the case of whole macadamia and walnuts, treatment may be necessary.

The Ministry for Primary Industries can also provide you with information on Gifts and Food for personal consumption (offsite link to We suggest that travellers contact MPI before bringing any food items associated with plant material. More information on the requirements is available in Importing Plant Products.

Page last updated: 5 August 2014