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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.

Bringing pets and animals into NZ — NZ Customs Service

Pets travelling to New Zealand — Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)

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:

International Pet and Animal Transportation Association

Costs

You have to pay for permits, inspections, quarantine fees and other costs, as needed.

Fees and charges when bringing pets to NZ — MPI

Documents

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.

Bringing pets and animals into NZ — Customs Service

Requirement documents for bringing pets to NZ — MPI

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.

Bringing cats and dogs to NZ — MPI

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:

Step-by-step guide to bringing cats and dogs to NZ — MPI

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:

Step-by-step guide to bringing cats and dogs to NZ — MPI

Apply for a permit

Fill out the online form:

Cats and dogs permit application — MPI

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.

Cats and dogs in transit — MPI

Veterinary examinations for cats and dogs

Veterinary examinations must be done in the 2 days before the animal travels.

Step-by-step guide to bringing cats and dogs to NZ — MPI

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.

Quarantine facilities when importing cats and dogs

Book an MPI-approved quarantine facility:

Quarantine facilities for cats and dogs

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.

List of councils in NZ — Council contact list

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
  • horses.

Bringing pets to NZ (other than cats and dogs) — MPI

Importing aquatic animals — MPI

Importing horses — MPI

Pets you cannot bring into NZ

See a list of pets you’re not allowed to import:

Prohibited pets — NZ Customs Service

Contact

If you have questions about importing pets to New Zealand, contact the Ministry of Primary Industries.

Email: animal.imports@mpi.govt.nz.

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