New Zealand: What you can and can't ship

Get a quote
An image of New Zealand's mountain range: towering peaks, dramatic slopes and pristine wilderness
Welcome to our informative blog post on the topic of what you can and can't ship to New Zealand. If you're planning an international relocation or just need to ship a few items to the country, it is critical that you understand what is allowed and what is restricted. 

Navigating international shipping regulations and restrictions can be complex and this is why we have created a comprehensive guide to explore the do's and don'ts of shipping to New Zealand. From everyday household items to specialised goods, we will provide you with a valuable insight to ensure a smooth and hassle-free shipping experience. 

Items you can ship to New Zealand

When it comes to shipping items to New Zealand, there are several categories of goods that can typically be transported without any significant restrictions. These include:

  • Personal effects. You can ship your personal belongings such as clothing, accessories and personal care items.
  • Household goods. Furniture, appliances, kitchenware, bedding and other household items are generally allowed into New Zealand. 
  • Electronics. Common electrics like laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras and audio equipment can be shipped. 
  • Books and media. Books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and other forms of media can be transported.
  • Sports equipment. Items like bicycles, golf clubs, surfboards, skis and camping gears can be shipped, allowing you to continue pursuing your favourite activities in New Zealand. 
  • Art and decorations. Paintings, sculptures, decorative items, and other artworks can be transported. 
  • Vehicles. Cars, motorcycles and boats can be shipped to New Zealand, although specific regulations and customs duties will apply.

It is important to note that while these items are generally permissible, we advise you to check for any specific regulations, import regulations, or licensing requirements that may apply to certain categories of goods.  

To ensure you are kept up-to-date with New Zealand's customs regulations, please speak with your international Move Manager who will be able to provide expert information and advice. Alternatively, FIDI provide an Imports and Customs Guide to New Zealand where you can find the latest information. 

New Zealand's restricted items

There are certain goods that are subject to restrictions and require special permits before they are allowed to be imported into New Zealand. It is crucial to be aware of these restrictions to ensure compliance with import regulations. Some items that are commonly restricted or require special documentation include:

  • Food and agricultural products. Many food items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and honey, are restricted or require permits due to biosecurity concerns. Restricted food items must meet specific import conditions to ensure they are free from pests, diseases and contaminants. 
  • Medications and pharmaceuticals. Prescription medications and certain pharmaceutical products may require authorisation from the New Zealand Ministry of Health or Medsafe before importation. 
  • Firearms and weapons. Importing firearms, ammunition and certain types of weapons into New Zealand is tightly regulated. Proper licensing and permits are generally required. 
  • Endangered species and wildlife products. Products derived from endangered species, such as ivory, certain furs and animal parts, are strictly regulated or prohibited under international wildlife conservation laws. 
  • Plants and plant products. Bringing in plants, seeds and certain plant products may require permits to ensure compliance with biosecurity measures and prevent the introduction of invasive species. 
  • Cultural and heritage items. Artefacts, archaeological objects and culturally significant items may require documentation and approval from relevant authorities. 
  • Alcohol and tobacco. Importing alcoholic beverages and tobacco products into New Zealand is subject to specific regulations, including duty and tax requirements. 

Please be aware that there may be additional categories or specific regulations for certain goods, which are not listed above. For the latest information on New Zealand's restricted items, please contact your international Move Manager.  

New Zealand's prohibited items

As well as restricted items, New Zealand also has a list of prohibited items due to safety, health, environmental or cultural reasons. It is essential to be aware of these items to avoid legal complications. New Zealand's prohibited items include:

  • Illicit drugs. Importing illegal drugs, including narcotics and controlled substances, is strictly prohibited and can result in severe legal consequences.
  • Counterfeit goods. Items that infringe intellectual property rights, such as counterfeit designer products, pirated software and fake branded goods and prohibited for importation. 
  • Offensive materials. Pornographic materials, objectionable publications and explicit content are not allowed to be imported. 
  • Weapons and explosives. Prohibited items include firearms without appropriate licenses, explosives, fireworks and certain types of dangerous weapons. 
  • Hazardous materials. Chemicals, toxic substances, radioactive materials, and other hazardous goods that pose a risk to health, safety, or the environment are generally prohibited. 
  • Protected wildlife and endangered species. Importing products derived from endangered species, such as ivory, certain animal furs and products made from protected flora and fauna, is strictly prohibited. 
  • Cultural and heritage artefacts: Importing cultural treasures, archaeological artefacts, and other items of significant cultural or historical value without proper authorisation is prohibited.

It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be additional items that are prohibited for importation into New Zealand. Make sure you always check with your international Move Manager or visit the FIDI guide to obtain the most up-to-date information on prohibited items before shipping any goods. 

By hiring Pickfords as your international mover, you will have all the support you need to ship your belongings to New Zealand. In 2022, we were announced the winners by the Forum of Expatriate Management for the 'International Moving Company of the Year', having also won the award in 2013, 2018 and 2019. Our great achievements highlight our unbeatable experience and the professional service we provide our customers who are shipping their goods to New Zealand. 

If you are ready to get your move to New Zealand underway, get in touch with us today or get a quote here