Items to declare
New Zealand has very strict biosecurity procedures at our international borders to prevent the introduction of harmful pests and diseases. The Passenger Arrival Card tells you what New Zealand considers “risk goods”. All risk goods must be declared or be disposed of in marked amnesty bins at air and sea ports. If you’re unsure – declare.
To make sure your arrival in New Zealand goes smoothly you’ll need to know about:
- Passenger arrival cards – these are usually given to you to complete by your crew on your way to New Zealand
- declaring all risk items on your card – goods like food, plants, wooden products, soil, water, outdoor equipment, and animal products. Declared risk goods may then be inspected
- disposing of undeclared risk goods in marked amnesty bins on your arrival
- prohibited and restricted items like products from endangered animal or plant species
- infringement fees, fines and penalties for not declaring risk items on your Passenger Arrival Card.
- The Passenger Arrival Card is a legal document. If you make a false or incorrect declaration – even by accident – you are breaking the law and you can be fined or put in prison.
- On arrival in New Zealand, your bags may be sniffed by detector dogs, x-rayed or searched.
Declare or dispose
Watch Officer Goodboy explain New Zealand’s main biosecurity requirements and the importance of declaring or disposing.
For more detailed information, check the MPI website.
You must declare risk goods
When you arrive in New Zealand, you’ll have to complete a Passenger Arrival Card and declare any biosecurity risk items. The Customs website has an example of the card.
MPI does not have an exhaustive list of the items you can bring to New Zealand. Some of the risk items you declare may be allowed into the country:
- if a quarantine officer at the border is satisfied your items pose no risk
- after treatment of the risk items.
However, some items may not be allowed into the country under any circumstances and may be confiscated or destroyed.
Items that require treatment are sent to private independent companies. You can collect items sent for treatment at a later date. Or, if you’re arriving and departing from the same airport, MPI can store your risk goods until you leave the country.
Types of risk goods
Your Passenger Arrival Card lists the kinds of items considered a potential risk to New Zealand:
- Any food – cooked, uncooked, fresh, preserved, packaged or dried.
- Animals or animal products – including meat, dairy products, fish, honey, bee products, eggs, feathers, shells, raw wool, skins, bones or insects.
- Plants or plant products – fruit, flowers, seeds, bulbs, wood, bark, leaves, nuts, vegetables, parts of plants, fungi, cane, bamboo or straw, including for religious offerings or medicinal use.
- Other biosecurity risk items, including – animal medicines, biological cultures, organisms, soil or water.
- Equipment used with animals, plants or water, including for gardening, beekeeping, fishing, water sport or diving activities.
- Items that have been used for outdoor or farming activities, including any footwear, tents, camping, hunting, hiking, golf or sports equipment.
Failing to declare
People failing to declare biosecurity risk goods – even by accident – may be instantly fined an NZD$400 infringement fee. Anyone caught smuggling a prohibited or risk item could:
- be fined up to NZD$100,000
- face up to 5 years in prison
- be deported.
Make sure you declare or dispose any risk goods. If in doubt, ask a quarantine officer when you arrive at the airport.
“Source: Ministry for Primary Industries and licensed by MPI for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence .”