Bringing food for personal use

All food items brought into New Zealand need to be declared on your Passenger Arrival Card. Quarantine officers may need to inspect some of the food you're bringing with you.

Food restrictions help protect New Zealand

MPI prohibits or restricts the entry of some food products because they could bring in pests and diseases that:

  • seriously damage our natural resources
  • lower agricultural and horticultural production
  • affect our ability to trade with other countries
  • threaten our economy.

When arriving in New Zealand, you must declare on your Passenger Arrival Card any food you're bringing in. You may also need to show the food to biosecurity quarantine inspectors.

If you think something is not allowed, or know that it is banned, it is better to leave it behind.

Even if it is allowed, if you don't declare food you're bringing to New Zealand you will:

  • be fined
  • have the food confiscated.

No fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish or honey

Generally, you cannot bring in:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • fresh meat or fish
  • honey and bee products.

If you have any of these items with you, declare them or dispose of them on your arrival in the marked bins at the airport or seaport. If you don't declare all the food you are carrying, you will be fined and the food will be confiscated.

What food can you bring in?

Many foods can be brought into New Zealand but all food must be declared – even if you think it is allowed. If you don't declare food you're bringing into New Zealand, you will be fined and the food will be confiscated.

Generally, MPI officials at the border will allow in most food that is:

  • commercially prepared and packaged
  • shelf-stable
  • unopened.

Use our tool to help you find out

With our tool, you can quickly get an answer about whether your food item is allowed into New Zealand. We don't have all foods listed in the tool but it covers the foods we most frequently get asked about. The tool will also tell you whether there are any weight or quantity restrictions.

Import health standards have detailed information

If you want more detailed information, you can refer to documents called import health standards. They are mainly for commercial importers but also have information about goods for private use. An example is the Import Health Standard for Specified Food for Human Consumption Containing Animal Products. That standard has details about importing a lot of common types of meat products. Other standards cover other food types. Look for headings in such standards that mention "private consignments".

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions about bringing food to New Zealand, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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