FAQs related to Personal travellers

What are Biosecurity New Zealand's import requirements for wood household goods?

All wood products imported into New Zealand will be inspected on arrival in New Zealand for pests, evidence of pest infestation, or for unwanted organic contamination such as soil or bark.

Wood found to be contaminated with pests or soil or bark will need to be treated (if you want the items to enter New Zealand), re-shipped (sent back) or destroyed (incinerated). The treatment will depend on the contaminant found (e.g. fumigation for insects or bark, heat treatment for fungi).

Fumigation is mandatory for products made from or containing cane or bamboo.

All treatment or destruction costs will need to be met by the importer.

If you want to be sure of avoiding difficulties on arriving in NZ, make sure that all wood products you bring in are either free of pests, bark and soil (dirt), or have been certified treated by one of the methods described in the import health standard.

Is mail coming to New Zealand also checked?

Quarantine Officers, assisted by an X-ray machine and detector dog, inspect all parcels entering New Zealand at the International Mail Centre. There are regular interceptions of risk goods, which include fresh produce, seeds, plants and straw items. Recipients of restricted items are given the option of having goods treated and returned to them at their expense.

Why are some items prohibited under CITES, and what is this about?

New Zealand is now party to a world-wide agreement designed to prevent trade in endangered, threatened or exploited species. It covers items such as ivory, turtle shell artefacts, clam shells, coral and products made from snakeskin or whalebone. Plants, animals or products covered by the agreement can no longer be brought into New Zealand, except with a special permit issued by the Department of Conservation.

Many endangered species are being driven to extinction to make exotic souvenirs. By supporting the CITES agreement and deciding not to buy goods made from endangered species, you can help save these rare plants and animals.

Which items are considered 'risky'?

Items which could pose a risk include meat and meat products, eggs and egg products, dairy products, animal products such as wool, hides, hunting trophies, soil, seeds and plants, second-hand saddlery, animal remedies, some Chinese medicines, used vehicles, farm machinery and contaminated containers.

What are Biosecurity New Zealand's import requirements for household goods?

All wood products imported into New Zealand will be inspected on arrival in New Zealand for pests, evidence of pest infestation, or for unwanted organic contamination such as soil or bark.

Wood found to be contaminated with pests or soil or bark will need to be treated (if you want the items to enter New Zealand), re-shipped (sent back) or destroyed (incinerated). The treatment will depend on the contaminant found (e.g. fumigation for insects or bark, heat treatment for fungi).

Fumigation is mandatory for products made from or containing cane or bamboo.

All treatment or destruction costs will need to be met by the importer.

If you want to be sure of avoiding difficulties on arriving in NZ, make sure that all wood products you bring in are either free of pests, bark and soil (dirt), or have been certified treated by one of the methods described in the import health standard.

Woodware from All Countries (16 April 2003)

What are the requirements for wood packaging accompanying my imported goods?

All wood packaging material imported into New Zealand will be inspected on arrival in New Zealand for pests, evidence of pest infestation, for unwanted organic contamination such as soil or bark, or for evidence that they have been adequately treated for pests.

The pre-import treatments accepted by Biosecurity New Zealand with certification are listed in the import health standard for wood packaging material.

Biosecurity New Zealand also accepts the pre-import treatments and marking system described in the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15: Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (offsite link to www.ippc.int).

Wood packaging material found to be contaminated with pests or soil or bark will need to be treated (if you want the items to enter New Zealand), re-shipped (sent back) or destroyed (incinerated). The treatment will depend on the contaminant found (e.g. fumigation for insects or bark, heat treatment for fungi).

Can I bring in Christmas or wedding cake into New Zealand?

Yes. Cooked items such as cakes are of no quarantine significance.

Can I bring in popcorn kernels into New Zealand?

No. Popping corn in its natural form is a viable seed, and as such can introduce serious seed-borne diseases that might affect our maize and corn crops.

Popcorn in sealed microwave packs is allowed to come into NZ.

What's the problem with empty sea and snail shells?

Although the shells appear empty, they could contain viable eggs. One of the biggest risks is the Giant African Snail. These snails have an attractive shell, similar to a sea shell and are often sought by shell collectors. Some grow to 200 mm long, although most are between 20 and 100 mm long.

This snail is an example of how just one contravention can have serious consequences. These snails are considered by authorities to be the most damaging land snail in the world. Each has an enormous appetite, and they have been recorded as attacking 500 different kinds of plants. They can also pass on disease to humans.

In 1966 an eight-year-old boy returned to Miami, Florida from holiday in Hawaii with three Giant African Snail shells in his pocket. The shells carried viable eggs, and as each snail can lay as many as 6000 eggs in a lifetime, a colony was quickly established.

Why can't I bring in a piece of fruit?

Fruit fly is established in many of our neighbouring countries, for example, Queensland, Australia. It would take only one infected mango to introduce this pest to New Zealand, but it would have a disastrous impact on our fruit exports and domestic production.

Why am I not allowed to bring meat into New Zealand?

The greatest risk to New Zealand's economy is foot and mouth disease. This virus is prevalent in many overseas countries and can survive for long periods in meat products. An outbreak would immediately halt our valuable exports of meat and animal products.

Can I bring in sporting equipment?

Football, hockey, golf and cricket boots may have soil on their soles. Golf bags may have seeds or other plant material inside. BMX and other off-road cycles may be contaminated with soil. Waders for fishing may have soil or aquatic plants sticking to them. Fly-tying equipment such as feathers or skins requires inspection and may require treatment.

Please thoroughly clean all dirty sports gear before you bring them to NZ.

I've been camping, can I bring my gear into New Zealand?

If you have been on a farm or in a forest outside of New Zealand, there are a few things you need to do. Consult the Restricted Items pages.

Footwear, outdoor and agricultural equipment can all carry soil-borne diseases, seeds (which can introduce noxious weeds) and fungal spores. Please clean all of these thoroughly before coming to New Zealand. Footwear is likely to be inspected on arrival and should be packed in an easily accessible place.

In terms of camp food, dried fruit and dried vegetables are permitted entry. All heat and eat meals, dehydrated meals, and milk powder must meet the requirements of this Import Health Standard. Particular notice should be paid to packaging and country of origin requirements.

What happens to items being treated and how long will it take?

When you bring risk goods to NZ, your goods will be inspected, treated if necessary, and you can collect them afterwards. Animal and plant products may be treated with Methyl Bromide and/or Formalin. Seeds, straw products and pine cones may be heat treated to destroy the viability of seeds and fungal spores.

Can I bring in food and animal products that have been processed?

Because there are so many different types of food and animals products please contact MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Clearance Service directly.

If my souvenirs are commercially packaged, can I bring them in?

Travellers sometimes think there is no quarantine risk when they bring back souvenirs that are commercially wrapped. This is not the case. Items such as pot-pourri can harbour pests and seeds. Depending on what's in the mixture, it may be allowed in after treatment at the owner's expense.

Why can't I bring New Zealand produce back into New Zealand?

New Zealand produce, once it leaves this country, is exposed to pests or diseases in a foreign country. By bringing it back to New Zealand, there is a risk that the produce has been contaminated and would introduce such pests as fruit fly.

What can I do if I want to bring a vehicle into New Zealand?

A number of steps need to be taken before used vehicles can be cleared for use in New Zealand. For more information see non-biological items in the Other imports section of the site.

There is an import health standard available for all used vehicles as well as a standard for treated used vehicles.

You will also need to fulfil NZTA (offsite link to www.nzta.govt.nz) and Customs (offsite link to www.customs.govt.nz) requirements.

Can I bring in seeds, tissue cultures or nursery stock?

Seeds and bulbs: Bulbs are regarded as nursery stock and can carry a variety of diseases. They can only come into New Zealand with a permit.

Contact :

Biosecurity New Zealand,
Plants and Plant Products Imports,
PO Box 2526,
Wellington.
Phone: +64 4 894 0832
Fax: +64 4 894 0662
Email: plantimports@maf.govt.nz

Restrictions on seeds vary depending on the type and species. All seeds must be commercially packaged and require their full scientific name printed on the packet. Some may be allowed in providing they are free of insect pests, others are totally prohibited or may require specific treatment. This is because of the risk of introducing foreign disease or the seeds or bulbs becoming a weed.

Nursery stock, cut flowers and cuttings: Depending on the species and country of origin, these may be allowed, restricted, or totally prohibited. If a phytosanitary certificate is obtained in the country of origin, these items may be allowed into New Zealand. It is not possible to get a certificate after arrival here. For more information ask us.

What are the requirements personal effects being sent separately?

All personal effects including household goods and unaccompanied baggage require quarantine risk assessment. A declaration is required on an official form, which is obtained from MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Clearance Service or the Agent handling the shipment.

What must I do if I want to bring live plants and cuttings into New Zealand?

You will need an Import Permit.

Contact:
Biosecurity New Zealand,
Plants and Plant Product Imports,
PO Box 2526,
Wellington.
Phone: +64 4 894 0832
Fax: +64 4 894 0662
Email: plantimports@maf.govt.nz

Will the X-ray machine affect my film or personal computer?

The level of X-ray radiation emitted by the machine is so low that it will not damage films, cameras, personal computers or computer data. A number of tests have confirmed this.

My country is not on the list of approved countries in the Guidance Document. Can I import my cat or dog?

If the country where your cat or dog lives is not listed as an approved country in the Guidance Document Link to PDF document (283 KB), then your pet is not eligible for direct import.

Should this be the case, you could move your pet to an approved country or territory where it must complete the six month residency and fulfil all of the requirements in Veterinary Certificates A & B for that country.

What does it cost to import my cat or dog?

Costs will vary, but you need to consider the following:

Pet exporter fee (if applicable) Contact pet exporter (ask airline or your veterinarian for references, or search the internet)
Shipping Costs Contact pet exporter or airlines
Import Permit Application $166.62NZ
Veterinary visits, tests, treatments Contact pet exporter or veterinarian
Official Veterinary Certification Contact pet exporter of Official Government Veterinarian
Quarantine Contact pet exporter or quarantine facility
Biosecurity Clearance  
Customs www.customs.govt.nz (offsite link to www.customs.govt.nz)
Can the PureVax feline rabies vaccine manufactured by Merial be given to cats instead of an inactivated vaccine?

Yes.

How many rabies blood tests does my dog or cat need?

There is only one rabies blood test required. The blood sample for this must be collected between 3 and 24 months prior to the date of shipment and the rabies titre must be at least 0.5IU/ml.

Can I import my dog/cat less than 3 months after the rabies blood test?

No, the date of shipment from the country of export must be at least 3 months and no greater than 24 months after the date of sample collection for the rabies titre test.

My cats are apartment cats and have never been outside. Do they need to meet the testing requirements?

Our import requirements are based on the disease status of the country of export and all dogs and cats coming from that country must comply.

Do I need an import permit for my dog/cat?

An import permit is required for dogs and cats imported from all countries except Australia.

Do my dogs/cats need separate import permits?

All of your dogs and/or cats travelling together and going to the same transitional (quarantine) facility can share one permit.