Importing Animals and Animal Products

Live animals

Live animals must meet specific conditions to enter New Zealand. These will depend on the type of animal and country of origin. General information for importing live animals, germplasm and relevant definitions can be found on the MPI website.

Entry conditions are described in the appropriate Import Health Standard (IHS) for the animal you wish to import. Importation is not possible if there is no import health standard for that animal. Please search existing standards to find out if an Import Health Standard exists for the animal you intend to import (and from the relevant country). You can apply for an IHS if one doesn’t exist using one of the following forms:

  • Request for development of an import health standard (animal products) PDF Link to PDF document (101 KB) MSWord Link to Word document (249 KB)
  • Request for development of an import health standard (live animals and germplasm) PDF Link to PDF document (98 KB) MSWord Link to Word document (255 KB)

Applications are assessed and prioritised against specific criteria. You may want to review IHS’s that are currently under consultation or review current Risk Analysis. Additionally, if there is no HIS for the animal/product you wish to import, you may want to apply for the development of an Import Health Standard.

A Permit to Import may be required and animals may have to complete Post Arrival Quarantine (PAQ) at a MPI approved quarantine facility. You must contact one of these quarantine facilities and reserve a space for your animal(s) if PAQ is required. The quarantine facility will provide a confirmation letter that must be included with your permit application. Permit to import application forms can also be downloaded from the appropriate Import Health Standard’s page.

Some animals may be prohibited due to their protected status (see What you must declare-Animals). Failing to declare restricted goods could result in the owner of the goods being fined up to $100,000 or a company being fined up to $200,000.

If you intend to import a cat or dog, please read Entering New Zealand, Animals and Animal Products, Your Pets.

If you own, or intend to own, cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, or deer that were imported live or originated from imported embryos, there are reporting and record keeping obligations that you must meet under the Biosecurity (Imported Animals, Embryos, and Semen Information) Regulations 1999. For details, please read Reporting obligations for owners of imported cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and deer or embryos and semen from these animals (offsite link to www.biosecurity.govt.nz).

Medication

It is possible to import animal medication but you will need approval from the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Group (offsite link to www.foodsafety.govt.nz). Please view the protocol for accompanied animals entering New Zealand that require medication.

Animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy products and biological products of animal origin, microorganisms and cell cultures

Animal products will need to meet certain requirements covered by Import Health Standards. General information for importing animal products and relevant definitions can be found on the MPI webstie.

For information about private consignments of meat products see the following Import Health Standard for Specified Foods Containing Animal Products. You may also want to search the Import Health Standards for a particular product you want to import. An inspection may be required to decide whether or not the product is eligible for importation.

For information on importing biological products of animal origin, microorganisms and cell cultures see Importing Biological Products of Animal Origin, Microorganisms and Cell Cultures

Fees

The fee for processing a permit application is $NZ166.62 (GST inclusive). Options for payment are included on the permit application form.

Any other fees applying to the importation of animals are set out in the Biosecurity (Costs) Regulations 2010 Link to PDF document (68 KB)

Page last updated: 3 July 2013