expat network

New Zealand Customs Requirements

New Zealand Customs
When you move to New Zealand there are household items concessions available that mean you will not have to pay GST and duties on most of your items.

You cannot claim household concessions for:

  • new and unused items
  • cars
  • scooters
  • motorbikes
  • boats
  • aircraft
  • commercial items.
  • Other types of motor vehicle or craft.


Clearing your items

Your shipping company can provide the documents you need and you can either clear them yourself or the shipping company will clear your items for you for an extra fee on top of any Customs charges.

To get customs clearance for your items, you will need to provide the following items to the New Zealand Customs Service:

Clearance from MPI will be completed by NZ Customs, once all the required documents have been received.

You can then email all the documents to your nearest Customs Office.

If your items arrive in NZ before you do, you will need to authorise someone else to clear your items for you and give them permission in writing from you and a photocopy of your passport.

If someone else clears your items for you, you might have to pay GST and duties on the items.


Strictly prohibited items include:

Banned goods include:

  • explosives
  • weapons (pistols, knives, swords)
  • animal trophies (as well as items like alligator skin handbags)
  • live animals
  • canned and dried meat
  • dairy products (like milk and eggs)
  • honey
  • spices
  • plants
  • popcorn
  • tortoise shells and ivory
  • coral and clam shells
  • biological cultures
  • endangered organisms
  • Christmas decorations

Source: NZ Van Lines MovingtoNewZealand

If you’re thinking of bringing in animal products such as shells and coral, you will need the correct CITES documentation.


While not strictly prohibited, there are some other items that might be subject to inspection by quarantine and must be declared upon arrival. These include:

  • Food items and dairy products
  • Herbs and spices
  • Stuffed animals and reptiles
  • Bamboo, cane, rattan, basketry and mats
  • Unprocessed wool and animal hair
  • Dried flowers, bulbs, corns, etc
  • Seeds, pine cones and potpourri
  • Saddles and riding equipment
  • Artefacts (wooden carvings, shields, masks, etc)
  • Camping equipment
  • Farm clothing, footwear and equipment
  • Furs, skins and hunting trophies
  • Vacuum cleaners