Importing Salt and Freshwater Organisms
Fish and Fisheries Products
- Ornamental fish and marine invertebrates - Ornamental fish (both freshwater and marine) and marine invertebrates may be imported under the Import Health Standard for the importation of Ornamental Fish and Marine Invertebrates. Only species listed in this standard are eligible for importation. Imported fish and marine invertebrates must complete post arrival quarantine on arrival in New Zealand. Fish quarantine facilities are approved by Ministry for Primary Industries and are privately owned.
- Marine fish and fisheries products - Dead marine fish and marine fisheries products for human consumption may be imported under the Import Health Standard for all countries. There is a separate Import Health Standard for the importation of fisheries products from the European Union. These import health standards also apply to the importation of shellfish and other specific marine organisms such as sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Fish that live all or part of their lifecycle in freshwater are not eligible for importation under these standards.
- Freshwater fish and fisheries products - Fish that live all or part of their lifecycle in freshwater must be cooked/heat treated before importation is possible. Some species of fish may be imported under separate standards including; salmon from Australia, Norway, Canada, United States of America or the commercial imports of salmon from the European Union; Tilapia fillets from Brazil and the People’s Republic of China, catfish fillets from Vietnam and Nile perch from certain African countries.
- Other fisheries products - Other fisheries products that may be imported include fish food and bait; fish eggs, roe or caviar and fish meal. It may also be possible to import other fish/aquatic products for human consumption which have been heat treated or are for private use.
Aquatic equipment, ornaments and plant products
There is an Import Health Standard for all Equipment associated with water, such as fishing gear, waders, surfboards, canoes, aquariums, ropes, buoys etc. These items are required to be cleaned, checked and dried prior to arrival into New Zealand. See Entering New Zealand, Your Belongings for more information.
Products such as fish specimens, ornaments, fish jaws and shells must also be clean and dry. Details of the requirements for such products can be found in the import health standard for ornamental products.
Other Aquatic Products
- Seaweed and algae – when imported for human consumption, these must meet the entry requirements for Plant Products.
- Micro-organisms - each request to import Micro-Organisms is assessed on a case by case basis.
- Aquarium plants or seed - must meet the entry requirements for Seeds for Sowing or Nursery Stock.
- Sea Shells - Many sea shells are allowed into New Zealand but some require documentation under the CITES agreement . These shells include the Queen Conch shell, clam shells and coral.
Please also note that some products and species maybe listed under the CITES agreement and are not eligible for importation without the relevant documentation. Use the Import Health Standards search to find the standard for the specific item you wish to import.
Page last updated: 30 April 2012