Things that you CAN'T bring into NZ

You may not be aware of the things that you are and are not allowed to bring into the country. Each item that is not allowed into New Zealand, has a reason. This reason and law is put in place so that New Zealand's natural environment and the well being of New Zealanders are protected and there is not an out brake of many different disease and pests.  Here are some items and reasons:

Sea Shells

Most sea shells are allowed into New Zealand, but the queen conch shell, clam shells and coral are prohibited under the CITES agreement. 

Animal Skin Items

Various animal pests and diseases could be harboured; however like wooden items, these souvenirs would generally be allowed into the country after treatment.  


Blown eggs may enter New Zealand if they have been fumigated to destroy any pests or diseases. Even though the contents have been removed, the untreated shell itself may carry disease organisms. Whole eggs are totally prohibited. 

Feather Items

Often products such as fans or dusters may be manufactured from unprocessed feathers. There is a risk of introducing both pests and diseases. The highest risk is bird diseases but they may also carry such things as ticks.   

Wooden mask with animal hair attached

An example is this wooden mask with animal hair attached. After treatment for animal diseases and wood boring insects, this mask would be allowed in.  

Wooden Drums

This item is a concern for two reasons. The skin on the drum could harbour animal pests and diseases such as foot and mouth and hide beetles. The wood may also contain pests such as borer. These items would be permitted after the appropriate treatment. 

Oriental  medicines

  Some foreign medicines contain animal products. Even when these are commercially manufactured, they are not always processed in a way which kills pests and diseases.

  In many cases the animal ingredient may also be from an endangered species which is protected under CITES. 

Food Items

In general fresh, perishable foodstuffs such as fruit and meat are prohibitedProducts such as beef jerky, salamis, and Chinese sausages are manufactured from dried meat, which have not been through any process to destroy disease organisms.

  New Zealand's greatest threat is foot and mouth disease. This virus is prevalent in many overseas countries and can survive for long periods in meat products. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease would immediately halt our valuable exports of meat and animal products.  

Straw Items

Straw can carry cereal pests and diseases, which are not present in New Zealand. Items containing straw are allowed into New Zealand after either heat or chemical treatment. Baskets, woven grass and mats can all bring pests into New Zealand. 

Seeds and Bulbs

Bulbs and Seeds carry a variety of disease. There is also the risk of the seeds being dangerous plants that can endanger our native plants and animals. 

Honey and Products Containing Honey

Bringing honey into New Zealand is prohibited. It is an unprocessed product and a potential carrier of bee diseases. Each year more than twenty million dollars worth of bee products are exported from/by New Zealand, however this industry is worth a lot more to us. Remember that fruit trees, flowers and vegetable crops rely on honeybees for pollination.   NOTE: Honey may be permitted from certain pacific Island nations with suitable accompanying documentation. 

Endangered Species and CITES 

New Zealand is now party to CITES, a world-wide agreement designed to prevent trade in endangered, threatened or exploited species. It covers items such as ivory, turtle shell artefacts, clam shells, coral and products made from snakeskin or whalebone. Many endangered species are being driven to extinction to make exotic souvenirs. By supporting the CITES agreement and deciding not to buy goods made from endangered species, you can help save these rare plants and animals.