Arriving in NZ
Make sure you’ve got the right visa and documents when you arrive in NZ. Also check you haven’t got anything that you shouldn’t bring into NZ – like honey or fruit.
Visas and passports
If you're coming to NZ on a holiday you might not need to apply for a visa before you arrive. If you plan to work or study in NZ, even for a short time, you might need a visa.
Passenger arrival card
When you arrive in NZ, you’ll be given a passenger arrival card. This is where you list items you have with you that you need to declare to the authorities.
If you don’t correctly fill in your card, you can be fined or prosecuted — talk to a customs officer if you're unsure about anything.
What you can’t bring into NZ
You won’t be allowed to bring in:
- hazardous materials
- endangered species (without a permit)
- weapons (without a permit)
- objectionable publications, including videos and digital images, or
- controlled drugs.
What you must declare
You have to declare:
- food of any kind
- plants or parts of plants (alive or dead)
- animals (alive or dead) or their products
- equipment used with animals
- camping gear, golf clubs and used bicycles
- biological specimens.
Anything you declare will be examined to see if it's OK to keep. Some things might need cleaning or treatment before being allowed into NZ.
Declare anything you're not sure of on your arrival card and get it examined. Put anything you know you can't bring in into the bins at the airport when you get off your flight.
Medicines and prescription drugs
Declare prescription medicines you have with you. You’ll need to have:
- a copy of the medicine’s prescription or a letter from your doctor stating that you're being treated with the medicine
- the medicine in its original pharmacy container, with your name on the label and strength and dosage details shown
- no more than 3 months supply (except for oral contraceptives, where a 6 month supply is OK).
If you're bringing in more than NZ$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you have to declare it.
If you're bringing in more than NZ$700 worth of goods (not including your clothes, jewellery and toiletries), you'll need to declare it as you may have to pay duty fees or GST.
Alcohol and tobacco
You can bring alcohol and tobacco with you into NZ if you're over 18, but you'll have to pay duty fees if you bring in more than Customs allows.
For alcohol, you can have up to:
- 4.5 litres of wine or beer, and
- 3 x 1.125 litre bottles of spirits.
For tobacco, you can bring in one of the following:
- 50 cigarettes, or
- 50 grams of cigars or tobacco.