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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.

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


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

Fees and charges when bringing pets to NZ — MPI


You need several documents to go through NZ 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.

Find out more:

Cats and dogs

Check the MPI website for information about where cats and dogs must land in NZ to be:

  • cleared for entry, or
  • 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 time 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.

Check whether you also need a transit permit if your pet is staying on the same aircraft while in New Zealand.

Cats and dogs in transit — MPI

Veterinary examinations for cats and dogs

Check when veterinary examinations must be done before the animal travels.

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

Quarantine for cats and dogs

Check the quarantine requirements for cats and dogs from other countries:

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.

Council websites and maps — Local Government New Zealand

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


If you have questions about importing pets to New Zealand, contact MPI.


Who to contact for more help

If you need more help or have questions about the information or services on this page, contact the following agency.

Utility links and page information

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