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New Zealand Customs & Visa Information

New Zealand border control is famously strict! To ensure you don't get fined (or worse!) when you arrive in New Zealand, we have outlined some of the key facts on New Zealand border processes. For detailed information we recommend visiting the New Zealand Customs website and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries website, which manage New Zealand biosecurity and border control.

We have included some information on New Zealand holiday visa (visitor permit) requirements. For detailed information or any questions about your visa requirements, please visit the New Zealand Immigration Service website. For information on working holiday visas please visit our New Zealand Working Holidays page.

New Zealand Customs

New Zealand Duty Free Allowances
Cigarettes, Cigars, Tobacco: 200 cigarettes, or 250 grams of tobacco, or 50 cigars, or a mixture of all three weighing not more than 250 grams
Alcoholic Beverages: 4.5 litres of wine or beer and one 1125ml bottle of spirits or liqueur.
Other Limitations and and Allowances
Weapons: The importation of weapons and firearms into New Zealand is strictly controlled
Cash: Anyone carrying in excess of NZ$10,000 must complete a Border Cash Report on entry to New Zealand.
Medications: Visitors entering New Zealand with personal medication are advised to carry a doctor’s certificate to avoid potential problems with Customs
Drug Trafficking: Drug trafficking is a serious offence in New Zealand. Never agree to carry packages or bags for others, unless you are entirely sure of their contents.


New Zealand Biosecurity

MAF Restrictions

New Zealand is an isolated country, free from many pests and diseases. To protect our unique environment and agriculture, border controls are strictly enforced and MAF imposes heavy penalties on individuals who break these rules. 

Even inadvertently carrying an apple into the country in your carry-on luggage could result in a $400 instant fine – so take care!

On arrival visitors must declare the following goods on their Passenger Arrival Card:

  • food of any kind, including fruit or vegetables; meat, fish, poultry; ingredients used in cooking; all dairy products.
  • plants or parts of plants (alive or dead) including seeds and straw
  • wooden items
  • animals (alive or dead) or their products e.g. feathers
  • traditional or herbal medicines
  • outdoors or sports equipment e.g. camping gear, golf clubs and hiking boots
  • sea shells

Dispose of any goods you have not declared in the amnesty bins on arrival. If you're unsure, always declare.

CITES: New Zealand adheres to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). View a full list of Prohibited Endangered Species


Liquids, Aerosols & Gels Regulations

Like many countries, New Zealand now has strict regulations on the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) that can be taken onto international flights. Information on these regulations can be found at FlySmart.

Whilst you can still take duty free liquids on board the aircraft, you must purchase these items after you have cleared airport security, otherwise they will be confiscated.  If you purchase your duty free at a downtown duty free store before your flight, ensure the airport pick-up point for your purchases is after the airport security check. Remember that if you stop off at another airport on your way to your final destination, you will most likely need to go through airport security again. So if you are carrying bottles of duty free liquid, it will be confiscated! The best idea is to try and buy duty free when you land, or to ensure you will have a chance to pack any duty free purchases into your check-in luggage during a stopover.

For more information on Customs Regulations contact the New Zealand Customs Service.

New Zealand Visa Requirements

To enter New Zealand you must have a passport valid for 3 months after the date of your intended departure. 

You must also be carrying an onward/return ticket to a country you have permission to enter.

British Citizens and passport holders are entitled to enter New Zealand for up to 6 months and do not require a visa or visitor's permit.

Citizens of Australia are also exempt from having to obtain visitor permits when holidaying in New Zealand. 

Passport holders from the following countries do not need to apply for visitor visas or permits, and may visit New Zealand for up to 3 months

Andorra Hungary Poland
Argentina Iceland Portugal*
Austria Ireland Qatar
Bahrain Israel Romania
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brazil Japan Saudi Arabia
Brunei Korea (South) Singapore
Bulgaria Kuwait Slovak Republic
Canada Latvia* Slovenia
Chile Liechtenstein South Africa
Cyprus Lithuania* Spain
Czech Republic Luxembourg Sweden
Denmark Malaysia Switzerland
Estonia* Malta United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Finland Mexico Uruguay
France Monaco USA*
Germany Netherlands Uruguay
Greece* Norway Vatican City
Hong Kong* Oman  

*Residents of countries marked with an asterisk should visit the New Zealand Immigration website for further details of their New Zealand visa allowance.

See our New Zealand Working Holidays page for information on working holiday schemes & visas.

Health Requirements

The new immigration health policy came into effect on November 28, 2005.  The main change to the health requirements is that anyone intending a stay in New Zealand of more than 12 months (reduced from 24 months) will need to complete health certificates. When applying online, an applicant will automatically receive a request for the appropriate medical documents, based on the length of stay permitted by the scheme for which the applicant is applying. Click here for more details

For further information on visas, immigration and visitor permits contact the New Zealand Immigration Service or private visa assistance company, the Visa Bureau.

Immigration & Visas


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