Customs & immigration

Being well-prepared will reduce the time needed to get through Customs and Immigration when arriving in or departing New Zealand.

Necessary documentation

Passport

You must have a current passport to enter New Zealand. Your passport must be valid for at least three months past the date you intend to leave.

Visas

On October 1st 2019 the New Zealand Government introduced a new travel requirement for some visitors and transit passengers. It’s called the NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) and travellers need to request theirs via the official mobile app or website. Approval can take up to 72 hours, so get yours before you go. Please visit immigration.govt.nz/nzeta to find out if you need one.

Unless you are a New Zealand citizen, resident or from a visa-free country (a full list of is available on the New Zealand Immigration Service website, details of which are listed below) you will probably be required to have a valid visa before entering New Zealand. Visitors who are not required to have a visa will still need to show:

  • a return travel ticket or evidence of onward travel arrangements
  • evidence that you have sufficient money available to fund your visit.

For further information about visas and other immigration requirements, please visit the New Zealand Immigration Service website or visit one of their branch offices Some visitors and transit passengers can travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before they travel.

Passenger Arrival Card

During your flight you will be given a New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card to fill in. This card is a declaration of what you are and are not bringing into New Zealand. It must be completed before you reach passport control. While translations of the card are available in many different languages, it must be completed in English.

Customs declarations

You must tick ‘Yes’ in the Customs section of your arrival card if you are bringing any of the following into New Zealand:

  • prohibited or restricted goods, such as weapons, bongs, hash pipes, objectionable materials, wildlife products or illicit drugs
  • goods in excess of the $700 allowance
  • goods in excess of the tobacco and alcoholic beverages allowance
  • goods for commercial, business, or trade purposes
  • goods carried on behalf of another person
  • NZ$10,000 or more in cash, or foreign equivalent.

Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco

  • 50 cigarettes, or
  • 50 grams of cigars, or
  • 50 grams of tobacco products, or
  • a mixture of all three weighing not more than 50 grams.

Alcoholic beverages

  • up to six bottles (4.5 litres) of wine, champagne, port or sherry
  • up to twelve cans (4.5 litres) of beer
  • three bottles (or other containers) each containing not more than 1125ml of spirits, liqueur, or other spirituous beverages

Please note that if you bring in more than the allowances, you will incur Customs charges.

There are severe penalties for failing to declare articles that are prohibited, restricted or for which you are required to pay duty/sales tax.

For further information about what can and cannot be brought into New Zealand, please contact:

New Zealand Customs Service

P: 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786)

P: +64 9 300 5399

Agriculture and quarantine

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) aims to prevent the entry of pests and diseases which could endanger New Zealand's important agriculture and horticulture industries. You must declare any food, animal or plant items on your Passenger Arrival card. Failure to declare biosecurity risk goods, even accidentally, will result in a NZD$400 infringement fee. Anyone caught smuggling prohibited items could face the following:

  • fines up to NZD$100,000
  • face up to 5 years in prison
  • deportation.

If you're unsure about the goods you're transporting, ask a quarantine officer when you arrive at the airport.

For further information about quarantine restrictions, please contact:

Ministry for Primary Industries

P: +64 4 894 0100