Updated 11 months ago

If you are moving to New Zealand, you are probably wondering what to do with your pet. It can accompany you, provided you meet the strict formalities imposed by the New Zealand authorities regarding the importation of animals. These regulations are imposed jointly by the Department of Primary Industries and the customs department. Make sure to seek all necessary information before you begin the process of moving to New Zealnd with your pet.


First of all, check the conditions applied to the transport of animals with your carrier. Note that small animals such as birds can be transported in a cage while other types of pets such as cats and dogs are required to travel in the hold.

 Good to know:

You will have to produce a biosecurity clearance to the competent authorities and pay customs duties to import any pet.

Moreover, you must be in possession of an invoice or receipt for the animal, or any other form of proof of its actual value, as well as a letter from your airline company indicating your pet's transportation method and cost. You will also have to produce your personal identification documents such as your passport, identity card or driving license and a duly completed application form.

Before traveling, your pet should:

  • be examined by a licensed veterinarian
  • wear a microchip
  • be vaccinated against rabies
  • be in possession of a health card and a certificate of vaccination.

You are required to consult the official website of the IATA or your air carrier to learn more about the cage standards.

Dog import

Some dog breeds are banned from entering New Zealand. These are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Brazilian Fila, the Dogo Argentino, the Japanese Tosa, the Perro de Presa Canario, etc.

However, controls and prohibitions do not apply to pet dogs for the disabled or blinds.

On arrival

Pets from Australia will not be quarantined upon arrival in New Zealand. However, they will have to undergo a full medical examination by a licensed New Zealand veterinarian. Animals from Bahrain, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius and New Caledonia, among others, will be inspected and quarantined for a minimum period of 10 days.

Animals from the Pacific Islands shall be subjected to tests and treatment on their arrival in New Zealand. Those imported from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Finland, Argentina, Austria and Belgium, etc. should have an import license. These will also undergo a 10 days minimum quarantine period. You can find more information about it on the website of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

 Useful links:

Ministry for Primary Industries
Customs New Zealand
Datasheet for importing pets

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