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One Tree Hill in Auckland

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New Zealand

Duty Free Allowances and Banned Items

Plane seats


What you can take into New Zealand


One of the most important things to check up on when planning a visit to a country is its customs laws and banned items.

New Zealand has a reasonable limit for duty-free items, but if you are caught taking in banned agricultural things then you can expect an on-the-spot fine.

No excuses are listened to as New Zealand rightly wants to protect its flora and fauna from imported diseases.

Travellers who are 17 or older are eligible for duty free alcohol and tobacco allowances.

So smokers can take in 50 cigarettes, or 50 grams of tobacco.

And drinkers can take 4.5 litres of wine, or 4.5 litres of beer, two bottles containing not more than 1125ml of spirits, liqueur, or other spirituous beverages each.

Your personal items - such as toiletries and jewellery - are not considered liable for duty or New Zealand's Goods and Services Tax.

Each traveller may also take into New Zealand accompanied goods up to a total value of $700 without worrying about duty or GST.

Children are able to take their own property in although customs officers will be on the lookout for things that are not what children would "reasonably expect to own and use".


Take Out

In addition to their allowances, travellers may also take into New Zealand the following goods without incurring customs charges. You do need to take the goods out with you again.

Baby carriages and strollers, binoculars, mobile phones, laptops, tape recorders, compact disc players, mini disc players, DVD players, video and motion picture cameras.

If you can't take them out then Customs may require a cash deposit to cover the duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) normally payable. The deposit will be refunded when the goods have been exported.


Cash Limits

You cannot take more than $NZ10,000 cash (or its foreign equivalent) in or out of New Zealand. If you have more than this then there are forms you can fill out called a Border Cash Report.

If you don't and get caught then it is a $2000 fine.


What you can't take into New Zealand

Do not take any fruit or plants into New Zealand!

We cannot stress how important it is to not take fruit, animal products, plants or foodstuffs into New Zealand.

New Zealand is a group of islands and its economy is based upon exporting agricultural and horticultural goods. Customs and agricultural officers view any breach of the laws extremely seriously and they don't show leniency.

The NZ Customs website advises: "If in doubt, place all questionable items, especially fruit, into the marked bins before approaching the immigration area upon arrival at a New Zealand airport."

There are heavy fines so don't take the risk.

The banned items include:

Firearms and weapons, ivory, tortoise-shell or turtle-shell jewelry and ornaments, medicines using musk, rhinoceros, or tiger derivatives, anything made from whale bone or other marine animals, cat skins or coats.

Diuretics, tranquilisers, depressants, stimulants, cardiac drugs, and sleeping pills may not be allowed unless they are covered by a doctor's prescription.

People caught trying to import illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin face severe penalities in New Zealand.



Indecent materials - pornographic DVDs, or films - will be confiscated.

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