Customs Information

New Zealand - Diplomat

New ZealandForeign nationals only coming to take up a Diplomatic post in New Zealand. It does not cover returning NZ residents who have held diplomatic posts overseas. They are classed as Returning NZ residents.



  • Household goods (including furniture and electrical appliances) and personal effects can be imported free of Customs charges.
  • Most shipments include items which require inspection by MAFBNZ (Quarantine). However, this requirement is only made known during the clearance procedure. Charges for this service will be for the Customer's account. 
  • All shipments of personal and household effects (and vehicles) are subject to payment of an Import Transaction fee (billed to customer). At this time, the transaction fee is NZD 50.38 plus GST.
  • Following Quarantine inspection, fumigation, steam cleaning or other treatment of items may be required. Charges for this service will be for the Customer's account.
  • For the 2022-23 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug risk season, heightened biosecurity measures will apply to: (1) Certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries, and/or (2) Vessels that berth at, load or transship from target risk countries. 

    Effective sailings on or after September 1, 2023, for arrival into New Zealand of April 30, 2024, will be deemed for necessary for fumigation. To avoid costs, origin fumigation by approved providers will be allowed. For a list of approved providers, click here.  



  • Inventory stating contents of cartons in detail including the contents of any cartons packed by owner. Inventory descriptions such as "PBO" (packed by owner), "misc" (miscellaneous), “kitchenware” etc or any other such incomplete descriptions means the items are likely to be inspected for which the client will be charged.
  • An alcohol, tobacco and medicines form will need to be filled out for each client to reduce the risk of delays on inbound shipments.
  • Container Quarantine Declaration completed by the Origin Agent. 
  • Customs & MAFBNZ (Biosecurity) Declaration completed by the owner (must be in country to complete prior to shipment arrival)
  • Bill of Lading/Sea waybill/AWB (non negotiable preferred)
  • Customs form B615 completed by Foreign Embassy/Consulate based in Australia. The form has to be sources from Customs by the Embassy/Consulate.
  • Declaration from the relevant Embassy or High Commission confirming that the goods are the household belongings of the person arriving to take up Diplomatic position. 
  • Copy of photograph/signature pages of passport for all family members or full names, dates of birth, Nationality, passport numbers and arrival (visa) status must be provided. 


All cargo with containerized vehicles from the US have the following requirements

  • Diplomats can import a vehicle tax (GST) free provided the vehicle is for official use and a Permit to Import has been obtained by the Embassy or High Commission from the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. A copy of this Permit is required by us. 
  • Vehicles MUST comply with New Zealand Ministry of Transport Vehicle Standard regulations. Many vehicles will not.  Determining whether a vehicle meets the standards can be a complex task.  Owners/importers must contact one of the agents appointed by the NZ Transport Agency to check this BEFORE the vehicle is shipped. 
  • Restrictions apply to importation of left-hand drive vehicles. Before shipping you must obtain written approval to import from the Ministry of Transport. 
  • DO NOT load personal effect into the vehicle for shipping. The clearance procedures are separate for effects and vehicles. 
  • ALL VEHICLES (cars, vans, trucks, motorbikes inc off road and quad bikes, trailers etc) are examined by MAFBNZ on arrival and should be cleaned before shipping. In particular the underside should have all dirt and soil removed and the inside & boot should be vacuumed. Any contamination found will result in the vehicle being ordered for steam-cleaning and/or vacuuming. Charges for this will be for the Customer's Account.
  • Effective 15th Jan 2012 all vehicles require a basic structural inspection at the border* by an independent inspection Company approved by New Zealand Transport Agency.  In the case of vehicles in containers the border is deemed to be our store where this is an Approved Transitional Facility (ATF) or in some locations a specific ATF as designated by MAFBNZ.
  • Documents Required (copies acceptable): 
    • Original Bill of Sale (showing purchase price and date). 
    • Registration document/papers (to prove length of ownership) showing VIN or Chassis No. 
    • Service Book, repair accounts and insurance statements can assist in showing further proof of the length of ownership. 
    • Condition Report showing date vehicle handed over for shipment 
    • Evidence of the cost of freight and insurance charges for the vehicle only. 
    • Bill of lading showing vehicle and stating VIN/Chassis no. 
    • Owner will need to complete a Customs Application for Client Code form and provide passport details. 
      NB Ensure the owner has the documents available on their arrival and that they are not packed with their household effects.


Australia allows the importation of live pigeons from approved countries, and household pet birds from New Zealand. The importation of all other live birds into Australia is currently prohibited.

Domestic dogs and cats can be imported from approved countries, however these are subject, with the exception from New Zealand, to importation permits. They will also be subjected to a specified quarantine period upon arrival in Australia. Direct importation of domestic dogs and cats from some nominated countries is totally prohibited.

Note – Customs and MPI (Biosecurity) regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs and quarantine regulations applicable to household goods shipments to New Zealand and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since they are subject to change at short notice we cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance.


  • Radio transmitting equipment may not comply with New Zealand radio frequency service
  • Medicines of any kind must be declared. Prescribed medicines must be accompanied by a doctor's prescription and be carried in the original container.
  • Firearms and ammunition strictly controlled and a Police Import Permit is required. Client must hold or obtain a New Zealand Firearms License before an Import Permit will be issued. They Must be packed separately, individually listed on the inventory ,and stowed at the front (door end) of the container for easy access. The shipper must contact the New Zealand Police Department upon arrival to obtain license and permits as New Zealand Customs will not give clearance of the firearms until documentation is received from the police which may hold up clearance/release of the entire shipment. Semi-automatic military type firearms are not allowed and restrictions may apply to other types or firearms.
  •  MAFBNZ (Biosecurity) regulations apply to the following items:
    • Food of any kind
    • Biological specimens
    • Plants or animals (alive or dead) or their products
    • Equipment used with animal
    • Garden tools/implements, tents, vacuum cleaners, basket ware, bicycles, outdoor sports equipment, feather, fur, or skin products, etc.
    • Bamboo, cane, or rattan, regardless of origin will usually be inspected and, if infested will be fumigated
    • All wood (including wood packaging, crates, etc.) must be free of bark, insect and fungal attack and should be treated to comply with International standard ISPM15. Timber treatment certificate should be sent with documents when available

Please refer to the MPI brochure “Moving to New Zealand – What you need to know

  • All items of agricultural, animal, or food origin or use MUST be clearly identified and loaded for easy access for inspection. PLEASE NOTE: MPI Inspection will be added to clearance times with fumigation or treatment causing further delays.
  • MPI inspection can take place at residence at time of delivery provided the residence is not in a rural area and has a hard surface (concrete or asphalt) driveway/area where a container can be placed for unloading. If the residence does not meet these criteria then effects will have to be unloaded at our approved store for inspection. All charges associated with inspections are for the customer’s account


  • Canned or dried meat, spices, honey, dairy and egg products or bee keeping equipment.
  • Flick knives, swordsticks, replica firearms and knuckledusters
  • Semi-automatic firearms and certain other types of firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Controlled Drugs (Prescribed medicine must be accompanied by a doctor's prescription and be carried in the original container)
  • Pornographic or objectionable material (subject to seizure)
  • Ornamental pipes (including Sheesha or Hookah pipes) and other cannabis or methamphetamine utensils
  • All items manufactured from or originating from endangered wildlife must have a CITIES export permit issued by the appropriate authority in the country of origin. this includes ivory, shells & corals, feathers, reptiles, snakes, elephants, rhinos, hippos, members of the cat family, whales, dolphins, zebra, antelope, deer, and birds