Importing prohibited and restricted items into NZ

Some items are prohibited and cannot be imported into New Zealand, and some require approval to import.

You can’t bring or import any of these items into NZ:

  • objectionable material contained on items like videotapes, films, records, CD-ROMs and in publications
  • weapons like flick knives, butterfly knives, swordsticks, knuckle-dusters
  • any weapon which is disguised as something else
  • equipment for using cannabis or methamphetamine
  • anything which you’re planning to use in a crime.

You need a permit to import these items into NZ:

  • ivory in any form, including jewellery, and carvings
  • tortoise or sea turtle shell jewellery, and ornaments
  • meat or food derived from whales, dolphins, rare crane, and pheasants, or sea turtles
  • medicines containing musk, or rhinoceros or tiger derivatives such as ground horn or bone
  • carvings or other things made from whalebone or bone from other marine mammals
  • cat skins
  • trophies of sea turtles, all big cats, rare reptiles, cranes, pheasants, bears, antelope, and deer
  • live species, including pet eagles, hawks, owls and parrots, many cacti, orchids, cycads, and cyclamens
  • carnivorous plants.

Check the NZ Customs Prohibited or Restricted imports listOpens in a new window. (PDF - 39KB) for more detailed information on the following categories, including;

  • Agricultural items
  • Animal and plant products (including food)
  • Baby items
  • Endangered species
  • Equipment for smoking or taking drugs
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Furniture
  • Human ashes
  • Medicines
  • Objectionable material
  • Radio transmitters and telecommunications equipment
  • Vaporisers
  • Wooden items