Bringing pets into New Zealand
You can bring your pet here, but they must meet specific health standards. These change, depending on the country your pet is coming from.
The NZ Customs Service and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) both oversee the import of animals to New Zealand, with MPI managing the country's major regulatory systems of biosecurity, fisheries management and animal welfare, among other things.
What you can expect
Depending on what country your pet is coming from, the process of importing a pet can be expensive and may take several months. Requirements are also often subject to change.
Get help from a professional
A professional pet exporter can help you bring your pet here safely — most airlines require you to use one to make sure you’ve followed all the rules.
They offer a range of services like arranging tests, treatments, flights, shipping crates, and other requirements.
Find an exporter who can help you ship to New Zealand:
You have to pay for permits, inspections, quarantine fees and other costs, as needed.
You need several documents to go through Customs. These may include:
- proof of purchase or evidence of ownership, if available
- permit to import the animal
- veterinary certificates
- Air Waybill
- Exempting Statutory Declaration — for dogs
- NZCS 231 Bringing a Pet or Other Animal into NZ
- copy of your photo ID.
Cats and dogs
Cats and dogs must land in Auckland or Christchurch first.
Cats and dogs from Australia will be cleared for entry.
All other cats and dogs must be transferred to a quarantine facility.
Banned cats and dogs
You can see a list of the types or breeds of cats and dogs that are prohibited from entering New Zealand under ‘What you need to know’ on the MPI website:
Permits for cats and dogs
Find out if you need a permit
If you’re bringing a cat or dog from:
- Australia, you usually do not need a permit — but your pet will need a post-arrival inspection
- an approved country, you need a permit to import
- a country that has not been approved, your pet will not be allowed into NZ until it has spent 6 months in an approved country and you can provide a vet certificate.
See a list of the latest approved countries in the ‘IHS guidance document’ in the ‘What you need to know’ section on the MPI website:
Apply for a permit
Fill out the online form:
Permits are processed within 10 working days.
You may also need a transit permit if your pet is staying on the same aircraft for more than 6 hours in New Zealand.
Veterinary examinations for cats and dogs
Veterinary examinations must be done in the 2 days before the animal travels.
Quarantine for cats and dogs
Cats and dogs coming from Australia do not need to be quarantined.
Cats and dogs from all other countries must be quarantined for at least 10 days.
Book an MPI-approved quarantine facility:
Register your dog in NZ
If you have recently brought your dog to New Zealand, you’ll need to register it with your local council. If registration fees are not paid on time, you can be charged a penalty.
Other pets you can bring into NZ
You can bring:
- chinchillas — from the United Kingdom (UK) only
- guinea pigs — from Australia only
- rabbits — from Australia only
- ornamental fish and other aquatic animals
Pets you cannot bring into NZ
See a list of pets you’re not allowed to import:
If you have questions about importing pets to New Zealand, contact the Ministry of Primary Industries.