New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand- The Facts

New Zealand is rightly proud of its unique and diverse environment and seeks to protect this heritage for future generations. As part of this process items being imported to New Zealand are considered from several angles – Security/Safety, Customs Tax/Duty revenues and Biosecurity.

Customs Regulations

  • Used Personal and household effects – Foreign passport holders (with qualifying Visa) and returning NZ residents (who have lived outside NZ for more than 21 months) are allowed entry free of customs charges provided they meet qualifying criteria.
  • Must be in country on arrival of goods. If not present, then either a customs bond (refundable) or full customs charges (non-refundable) are payable depending on the circumstances.
  • NZ residents absent less than 21 months can only import clothing and goods originally exported from New Zealand free of Customs charges.
  • All new goods are subject to Customs charges.
  • Qualifying visas must be held at the time the goods arrive, for example Permanent Resident’s Visa, Returning Resident’s Visa, Work Visa or Work Permit valid for 12 months, Work Visa or Work Permit issued under Long Term Business or Skilled Migrant category, Visitors Visa or permit that was issued for a minimum of three years.

Customs information:

Documents required

  • Completed Customs and MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) declaration ‘Unaccompanied Personal Baggage Declaration’
  • MPI Bio security Supplemental Declaration (Allied will supply these forms)
  • Residents returning after less than 21 months overseas should supply a copy of their original export inventory.
  • Descriptive Inventory of goods in English
  • Passport + visa copies for all family members.
  • Work to Residence visas require written confirmation from NZ immigration of this status
  • Original purchase receipt for any vehicles
  • Registration/ownership documents receipt for any vehicles


The Ministry of Primary Industries oversees Biosecurity at the NZ border. A charge for the Inspection team labour is payable on all Shipments to New Zealand. Separate charges are raised if any treatment is ordered, which vary depending on the treatment required. More information:

Allied Local Offices

DunedinNew PlymouthTimaru


Local to your new home

Allied are part of the worldwide Allied Network, who have long-established Allied offices in New Zealand. We offer assistance with documentation and clearances and once Customs are finalised, we will contact you to arrange delivery to your new home.

How long does it take?

Allied load more containers to New Zealand than any other Australian International Movers Association (AIMA) member and this ensures we can also offer more frequent departures.

Indicative transit times are as follows:


 GroupageFull Container
North Island8-10 weeks3-5 weeks
South Island8-10 weeks3-5 weeks



Pets are permitted entry into New Zealand, but will be subject to the following:

  • Rabies vaccinations
  • RNATT (Rabies Antibody Titre Test)
  • Quarantine (ten days on arrival in NZ)
  • Import Permit
  • Veterinary Export Health Certificate

The logistics are detailed and for this reason we would recommend asking Allied to refer you to an approved specialist in this area. More information at

Motor vehicles

Foreign passport holders (with qualifying Visa) and returning NZ residents (who have lived outside NZ for more than 21 months) are allowed entry duty-free but may be subject to GST, provided the vehicle has been owned and used for one year prior to shipment and is not sold or disposed of for two years after importation. Client may have to attend Customs interview in person sign undertaking regarding disposal. Vehicles must comply with NZ Transport agency standards – this should be checked in detail prior to shipment. All vehicles are inspected by MPI and should be clean inside and out.


Most modern televisions will work in New Zealand. However with the advent of digital receivers it is inevitable that your television will need to be connected to the equivalent of an Australian Digital Satellite/Cable receiver in New Zealand. It is worth checking with the manufacturer if you have any concerns.

Electrical items

Electrical items should generally work on the New Zealand system, although it is worth checking with the manufacturer if you have concerns.

Prohibited items

  • Canned/dried meat, spices, honey, diary, and egg products
  • Flick-knives, swordsticks, replica firearms and knuckledusters
  • Controlled drugs, ornamental pipes such as Sheesha or Hookah
  • Pornographic material
  • Endangered wildlife products must have a CITES export permit issued by appropriate authority in Country of origin – this includes ivory, shells and corals, feathers, reptiles, feathers, snakes, elephants, rhinos, hippos, whales, dolphins, zebra, antelope, deer, birds and members or cat family all products of endangered species.

Restricted items or items likely to attract interest

  • New or unused items may attract duty/ GST tax, as will items belonging to persons who do not meet qualifying criteria
  • Alcohol can be imported in small quantities by qualifying persons. Collectors may be permitted to bring in larger amounts but this should be verified prior to uplift. A full list of type/size/volume and proof of ownership will be required for any alcohol imported.
  • Tobacco will attract duty charges
  • Radio transmitting equipment that does not comply with NZ regulations
  • Medicines should be in original packaging and have accompanying Doctor’s prescriptions
  • Firearms and ammunition are strictly controlled and a Police Import Permit is required:
  • Items of specific MPI interest:
    • foodstuffs of any kind
    • biological specimens, plant/animal,
    • feather, fur or skin products
    • garden equipment
    • outdoor sports equipment
    • vacuum cleaners
    • untreated raw timbers or wood
    • Bamboo, cane and rattan will usually be inspected.