All products being brought into New Zealand which could potentially contain unwanted pests or organisms are subject to an Import Health Standard. Risk goods which could affect New Zealand biosecurity are generally of animal or plant origin. However, there are other risk goods which can also contain biosecurity risks, including sea containers, used vehicles, machinery and used tyres.
To meet Import Health Standard requirements, various certificates may be required before a product may be imported. These include either a Phytosanitary certificate , Zoosanitary certificate, or a CITES certificate .
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.
The Biosecurity (Costs) Regulations 2010 (68 KB) provides information on fees applying to the importation of non-organic items.
When preparing cargo for shipping to New Zealand, pack mixed consignments carefully to reduce risk of contamination, check freight containers and packaging for spiders, insects or animals, and make sure that packages are addressed clearly and include a New Zealand contact telephone number.
On reaching New Zealand, goods will be released once they have been checked and cleared by MPI Cargo Clearance services. Goods that don't comply with New Zealand laws will be destroyed or sent back to the country of origin at the owner's expense. When certificates are missing, incorrect or incomplete, the goods may be destroyed or sent back to the country they came from. Goods that contain pests or diseases may be treated or destroyed.
Inorganic and Inanimate Items
All goods imported into New Zealand with the potential to introduce pests, diseases or unwanted organisms must be subject to an Import Health Standard. Generally, goods which could affect New Zealand biosecurity are of either animal or plant origin, however there are other risk goods which have implications for both plant and animal health.
Standards for Containers
Vehicles and Machinery
All used vehicles entering New Zealand have to be inspected and cleaned (if necessary) before release by the MPI Clearance Service. The place of inspection will depend on the method of arrival.
The vehicles, machinery and tyres Import Health standard, vehicle-all replaces the revoked vehicle, machinery and used tyres Import Health Standards below.
- Cars, Vans and Utility Vehicles
- Used Vehicles
- Agricultural and Forestry Machinery
- Used Tyres
All used vehicles and equipment will be examined for the presence of quarantine materials. This includes the inspection of all internal and external surfaces and spaces to check for soil, plant material, insects or other contamination. Should contamination be found the vehicle will require cleaning at a MPI approved decontamination facility.
All used vehicles and equipment that are not imported in containers will be inspected at the place of arrival. Containerised vehicles may be imported into an approved transitional facility for checking .
In the case of vehicles that will be registered to be used on the road, a further inspection is carried out on behalf of the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) . This inspection is to record the odometer reading, confirm the identity number against documentation provided by the importer, and to identify any structural damage that may be present.
Vehicle Clearance information on line
Access up-to-date vehicle status, inspection, processing and clearance information through the MPI Vehicle Tracking Website .
- Importers can track and trace the biosecurity inspection status of their vehicles by entering their VIN or Bill of Lading number to the web site
- Port companies can download biosecurity inspection processing data via the web service and XML queries to manage holds in their systems
- Review import vehicle data nationally and internationally
This list is updated regularly but is not definitive because reporting/linking time constraints could result in vehicles being shipped before this list is updated. MPI accepts no liability for information supplied on or omitted from this list.
- Bulk fertiliser
- Bulk Inorganic Fertiliser (including Guano Fertiliser)
- Soil, sand, clay and water
- Equipment associated with animals and water
- Ballast water from all countries - for additional information about ballast water see Guide to New Zealand Ballast Water Control
- Requirements for Vessels Arriving to New Zealand (493 KB)
Consult the Import Health Standards section of the site for further information about requesting the development of an Import Health Standard. You can request the development of a standard for a particular country / commodity by using the following form: Non-Biological Items (129 KB).
Page last updated: 1 February 2013