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Bringing Pets to New Zealand [Pet Passport 2020 Guide]

Bringing pets to New Zealand can be a complicated process. The country has strict conditions that must be met in order to successfully bring pets to New Zealand. The requirements vary, depending on the species of your pet, and which country you are traveling from. Generally, your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination, other vaccinations, parasite treatments, vet health certificate and import license. On top of that, you will need to organise a health inspection upon arrival, and may need to organise your pet to stay in New Zealand Pet Quarantine. 

In this article, we will guide you through the process of importing pets to New Zealand, and breakdown the strict and complicated entry requirements, depending on where you are traveling from.


What is a New Zealand Pet Passport?

New Zealand does not have an official ‘Pet Passport’, however it is a term used to describe the documents that are required to bring a pet to New Zealand. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet in customs. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your pet is fit and healthy to travel. For a New Zealand pet passport you will likely need microchip documents, vaccination records, parasite treatment records, veterinary health certificate and import license. However, your New Zealand Pet Passport will vary depending on the species of your pet and where you are traveling from.


What is the process of importing pets to New Zealand?

The process of bringing pets to New Zealand is as follows:

  1. Research – the process will depend on the species of your pet, and where you are traveling from. Therefore, ensure you are aware of the specific requirements for bringing your pet to New Zealand. It’s also important to check that your pet is allowed to be imported to New Zealand, as they have very strict rules, prohibiting many pets visiting. We will discuss the requirements for different pet species below.
  2. Visit the vet – most pets will require a microchip, vaccinations, parasite treatments and a rabies blood test. However, the requirements vary depending on your pet’s species and home country. Please note you will likely need more than one visit to the vet, for a rabies titer test and parasite treatments which need to be done closer to the time of travel. We will go into more detail in the requirements section below.
  3. Book your travel – if quarantine is required, try to book a flight that takes you to directly Auckland or Christchurch, where the quarantine centers are.
  4. Organise quarantine (if necessary) – if your pet requires a stay in New Zealand pet quarantine, you must reserve them a spot. We will go into detail in the quarantine section below.
  5. Apply for an import permit (if necessary) – you will need to apply for an import permit or import license before bringing pets to New Zealand. The permit will take up to 10 working days to obtain, and is valid for 30 days from the issue date. We will go into more detail in the import permit section below.
  6. Book an inspection for your dog or cat – you will need to book this at least five days before the animal’s arrival, or earlier. You will be liable to a fee if you do not do this in advance. You must email the form to ozdogsandcats@mpi.govt.nz.

What are the requirements to bring pets to New Zealand?

The requirements for bringing pets to New Zealand depend on your pet’s age and species, and where you are traveling from. The requirements usually include the following:

  1. Pet microchipping
  2. Rabies vaccination
  3. Additional vaccination, tests and treatments
  4. Rabies blood test (Rabies Titer Test)
  5. Import permit and health certificate

The entry requirements depend on which of the following country categories you are traveling from:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B.

PET MICROCHIPPING

When bringing pets to New Zealand, all dogs and cats must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip that is a 15 digit and non-encrypted. Rabbits and chinchillas must also be either microchipped or tattooed for identification. 

A microchip is a small chip the size of a grain of rice that holds a unique number which can be detected by a microchip scanner. It is implanted just under your pet’s skin in between its shoulder blades.

This should be the first step you take. This is because your pet’s microchip must be implanted before its rabies vaccination is administered, otherwise the vaccination will not count. We will discuss the rabies vaccination in detail in the next section.

Your pet’s microchip number must be present on all documentation required to enter New Zealand. Your veterinarian must scan your dog or cat’s microchip before any tests or treatments required to enter New Zealand.

RABIES VACCINATION

Dogs and cats residing in and entering from Category A countries do not require a rabies vaccination. However, it is a requirement for dogs and cats entering New Zealand from all other countries (Categories B and C). 

If you are travelling from the following countries, your pet will NOT need a rabies vaccination:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your pet WILL need a rabies vaccination:

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B.

When bringing pets to New Zealand, you must have a valid rabies vaccination supported by official vaccination records. All current vaccinations and boosters must be recorded. Furthermore, your dog or cat’s microchip number must also be recorded on all documentation.

Pets must be more than 3 months old at the time of vaccination.

If this is your cat or dog’s first rabies vaccination or its previous vaccination had expired at the time of the booster, it must be administered between 6 and 12 months prior to travel. If your pet is receiving a booster and the previous rabies vaccination was administered within the previous year, then the 6 month rule does not apply.

You must be able to show proof of all vaccinations, current and previous.

All dogs and cats traveling from categories B and C will also need a rabies titer test, also known as a rabies blood test. More information on this below.

ADDITIONAL VACCINATIONS, TESTS & TREATMENT

As well as the rabies vaccination, dogs and cats may also require additional vaccinations to enter New Zealand from all country categories. All vaccinations should be valid for the entire post-arrival quarantine period. Furthermore, they may need to be tested and treated for parasites and other conditions. 

Dogs may require the following tests, vaccinations and parasite treatments prior to traveling to New Zealand:

  • Babesia Gibsoni – your dog must be treated for Babesia gibsoni within 16 days of travel if you and your dog have ever traveled to or lived in South Africa.
  • Brucella Canis – dogs entering New Zealand from all countries except Australia must be tested for Brucella Canis. Treatment for Brucella Canis must be administered at least 16 days before travel. If testing positive, your dog will not be permitted import to New Zealand.
  • Canine Distemper – if your dog is originating from an area that is known for outbreaks of canine influenza, such as the US or Canada, your dog must be vaccinated against the virus.
  • External and internal parasites – If you are bringing a dog to New Zealand, they must have 2 treatments against internal and external parasites within 30 days of entry. The second treatment must be at least 2 weeks after the first treatment, and within 4 days of travel for internal parasites and within 48 hours of travel for external parasites. Treatments must be efficient against fleas, ticks, nematodes and cestodes.
  • Heartworm – dogs over the age of 6 months must be tested and treated for heartworm within 30 days of travel.
  • Leptospirosis – dogs entering NZ from all countries except Australia must be tested or treated for Leptospirosis.

Cats may be required to have the following vaccinations, depending on the quarantine centre they are staying at:

  • External and internal parasites – If you are bringing a dog to New Zealand, they must have 2 treatments against internal and external parasites within 30 days of entry. The second treatment must be at least 2 weeks after the first treatment, and within 4 days of travel for internal parasites and within 48 hours of travel for external parasites. Treatments must be efficient against fleas, ticks, nematodes and cestodes.
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline panleukopenia (enteritis)
  • Feline rhinotracheitis

Your cat or dog cannot be given clearance to enter New Zealand if ticks or fleas are detected on arrival or in the quarantine facility. If ticks and fleas are found, you have 3 options. At your cost, your pet will need to:

  • Be transported to an approved quarantine facility for treatment or testing;
  • Returned to its country of origin (if permitted); or
  • Be euthanised.

RABIES BLOOD TEST (RABIES TITER TEST)

If traveling from country categories B and C your dog or cat will need a rabies titer test, also known as rabies blood test. The rabies blood test ensures their rabies vaccine has provided your pet with adequate levels of the rabies antibody. 

If you are travelling from the following countries, your pet will NOT need a rabies titer test:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your pet WILL need a rabies titer test:

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B.

A licensed vet will need to take your pet’s blood at least 30 days after receiving their rabies vaccination. Their blood sample must then be sent to an approved lab for testing. Their blood results must show at least 0.5 IU/ml of the rabies antibody to pass.

The test must of been completed between 3 and 24 months before entering New Zealand.

All rabies vaccinations must be kept current once the titer test has been completed.

IMPORT PERMIT & HEALTH CERTIFICATE

To bring pets to New Zealand from Australia and Norfolk Island, you do not require an import permit. However, if traveling from all other countries, you will need one. This applies to dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. 

If you are travelling from Australia or Norfolk Island, your pet will NOT need an import permit.
If you are travelling from the following countries, your pet WILL need an import permit:

Category A (rabies-free): Bahrain, Barbados, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Singapore and Vanautu. The Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Island, Saipan, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Western Samoa are also recognized as rabies-free by New Zealand.

Category B (controlled-rabies): United States & Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Denmark,  Finland, France, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak only), Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Netherland Antilles, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands.

Category C (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A and B. [/box]

An import permit will show that your pet is qualified for traveling to New Zealand. Your pet’s veterinary health certificate will be part of your import permit.

Upon arrival in New Zealand, customs officials will need to see a valid import permit, with a veterinary health certificate completed by an Official government veterinarian in the country of export.

If you are bringing pets to New Zealand from the US, the certificate must be endorsed by your local State USDA office. Additionally, if you are traveling from Canada, it must be endorsed by your local CFIA office.

How to apply for an New Zealand Import Permit?

There are two different application forms for a NZ Import Permit, depending on which country you are traveling from:

You must apply for your import permit at least 10 days prior to the date you need the permit to confirm your flight. If an application is not provided 10 working days in advance, you may be charged a late fee or have your application declined. If the application is declined it will need to be resubmitted with an updated entry date.

Once approved, your import permit will be valid for 30 days.


What pet species and breeds can you bring to New Zealand?

​​Sadly, not all pets will be allowed into New Zealand. This is because the pest or disease risks associated with importation may be considered too great and pose as a threat to Singapore’s New Zealand.

The following animals ARE allowed to be imported to New Zealand:

  • horses
  • chinchillas — from the United Kingdom (UK) only
  • guinea pigs — from Australia only
  • rabbits — from Australia only.

The following animals ARE NOT allowed to be imported to New Zealand:

  • birds
  • ferrets
  • mice and rats
  • reptiles
  • snakes
  • some breeds of dog.

We will go into detail in the requirements to bring the animals that are permitted into New Zealand.

SMALL ANIMALS (CHINCHILLAS, GUINEA PIGS & RABBITS)

Only the following small animals, from specific countries, are permitted into New Zealand:

  • Chinchillas from Great Britain, UK
  • Rabbits from Australia
  • Guinea pigs from Australia

To successfully import your pet into New Zealand you need to:

  • Ensure your pet was born and bred in captivity;
  • Have your pet microchipped or tattooed for identification;
  • Comply with the relevant import health standard (IHS)
  • Use a pet exporter (recommended)
  • Have your original veterinary certificates and supporting documents from the exporting country signed and stamped
  • Apply for a permit to import from MPI at least 6 weeks before your animal leaves for New Zealand
  • Declare any medication for your animal
  • Pay relevant fees and charges.

It is important that you read and understand the import health standard (IHS) for the animal you want to bring to New Zealand. This is to make sure you can meet all of the requirements of the IHS, including veterinary documentation. For more information click on the links below:

You will need to apply for your import permit at least 6 weeks prior to traveling to New Zealand. You can download the form here. Once completed, you can send the application form with the permit fee to the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). It may take MPI up to 10 working days to process your application.

HORSES

You can only import horses, donkeys, and their cross-breeds to New Zealand from a list of approved countries. To help keep New Zealand disease and pest-free, there are strict requirements are in place for importing these animals.

You may only import horses, donkeys and their cross-breeds to New Zealand from the following approved markets:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • European Union member states
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Singapore
  • United States of America

If your animals aren’t from an approved market, you have 2 options:

  1. Move your animal(s) to an approved market or territory, where they must fulfil the residency period and other requirements detailed in that market’s veterinary certificate; or
  2. Request that your country is approved for the appropriate import health standard (IHS). To request approval, you’ll need to contact that country’s government and ask their officials to approach MPI.

To successfully import your pet into New Zealand you need to know about:

  • The import health standard (IHS) for horses;
  • Approved countries and veterinary certification;
  • Organising transport for your horse in New Zealand;
  • Booking a transitional or quarantine facility in New Zealand;
  • The different requirements for bringing horses from Australia;
  • Applying for equivalence for your animal, if needed;
  • Applying for a permit from MPI at least 6 weeks before the animal leaves the exporting country;
  • Pre-export isolation (PEI), including tests and treatments;
  • Notifying an official veterinarian at least 72 hours before arrival in New Zealand;
  • Declaring medication;
  • Post-arrival quarantine needs; and
  • Relevant fees and charges.

In order to take horses, donkeys and their cross-breeds to New Zealand, you must read and understand the IHS and ensure you can meet all of the requirements of the IHS before you start. Read up on the New Zealand IHS for horses here.

All horses, apart from those traveling from Australia, are required to have a minimum of 14 days’ quarantine at an MPI-approved quarantine facility. You will need to get in contact with the facility, before applying for your horse’s import permit.

The only approved quarantine facility in New Zealand for horses is:

International Racehorse Transport (IRT)
126 Muir Road
Papakura
Auckland 2580
NEW ZEALAND

Phone: +64 9 297 2022
Fax: +64 9 298 6066
Email: irtnz@irt.com

Once you have organised New Zealand pet quarantine for your horse, you can apply for a permit to import it. You will need to apply at least 6 weeks prior to your arrival in New Zealand. You can download the NZ Import Permit Form here. it will take up to 10 days to get a response.

For more detailed information on taking horses to New Zealand, check NZ’s government website here.


What dog breeds are not allowed into New Zealand?

It’s important to be aware that sadly a number of “fighting” breeds are not permitted within New Zealand. At present the following breeds are banned:

  • American pit bull terrier
  • Brazilian fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario.

This prohibition does not apply if your dog is:

  • registered under the Dog Control Act 1996 (NZ Legislation)
  • a guide or hearing dog
  • a companion dog

What cat breeds are not allowed into New Zealand?

  • First to forth generation of Bengal cats (or crosses)
  • First to forth generation of Savannah cats (or crosses)

If you are the owner of a Bengal or Savannah cat, you will need to provide proof that they are at least a fifth generation cross from their ancestral stock.


How long does it take to bring pets to New Zealand?

The process of bringing pets to New Zealand can take between 1-12 months to complete. This depends on the species of your pet, and where you are traveling from.

If you are traveling from a Category A country the time scale will be shorter. This is because pets will not require rabies vaccinations or rabies blood tests. However, if you are traveling from a country in Category B or C it will likely take you longer to import your pet to New Zealand.

The most timely steps of bringing pets to New Zealand, are getting your pet’s rabies vaccination and their rabies blood test results back. This will apply if traveling from a Category B or C country.

If your dog or cat has been, or will be vaccinated for the first time, and you are traveling from a Category B or C country, then you will need to allow at least 10 months:

  • If your dog or cat has had their first rabies vaccination, or if their booster vaccination has expired, you must wait 6 months before traveling. See rabies vaccination section above for more info.
  • If you are traveling from a Category B or C country, your pet requires a rabies titer test. You must wait at least 3 months after your pet’s rabies vaccination before taking its blood sample. See rabies titer test section above for more information. It can take up to 30 days to get your pet’s blood test results back.

Furthermore, the process of getting an import permit can be lengthy. 

The majority of permit applications are processed and decided within 10 working days. However, in more complex cases, the process takes longer. Additionally, you will need to organise quarantine before applying for your import permit for New Zealand. See quarantine section above.


Will my pet need to stay in New Zealand pet quarantine?

Pets traveling from Australia or Norfolk island will not be subjected to New Zealand pet quarantine. However, pets traveling from all other countries will be subject to at least 10 days in quarantine upon arrival. 

There are New Zealand pet quarantine centres in Auckland and Christchurch, contact details listed below.

You must organise quarantine for your pet, before applying for your import permit, if required. There are many forms which need to be filled out and signed by you:

  • Registered breed declarations to confirm your dog is not a dangerous breed
  • Value declaration to confirm your pet is not going to attract import duties
  • Customs import declaration

Once you have booked the quarantine space, the quarantine station will give you a letter to confirm the space – keep this letter safe as you will need to show it to customs officials upon entry to NZ.

Don’t worry, quarantine isn’t as scary as it sounds. Pets will have great caretakers and special food/medication accommodations if your pet needs it.

NEW ZEALAND PET QUARANTINE CONTACT DETAILS

Auckland Quarantine Limited
235 Brookby Road, Rd 1, Manurewa 2576
Auckland
New Zealand

Proprietor Graeme Bell
Telephone 09 216 6012
Email info@aucklandquarantine.co.nz
Website www.aucklandquarantine.co.nz

Pethaven Quarantine Services
71a Homestead RoadRD1 Pokeno
Auckland
New Zealand

Proprietor Mrs Robyn van den Brink
Telephone +64 9 233 6301
Fax +64 9 233 6302
Email pethaven@xtra.co.nz
Website www.pethavenkennels.co.nz

Qualified Pet Services
150 Airfield Road
Takanini
Auckland
New Zealand

Proprietor Carol O’Neill
Telephone +64 9 299 9539
Fax +64 9 299 9539
Email qualifiedpetservices@gmail.com
Website www.qualifiedpet.co.nz

Canterbury Quarantine Services Ltd
Highfield Road
Aylesbury
PO Box 23158
Christchurch
New Zealand

Proprietor Mark and Karen Bayliss
Telephone +64 3 318 1279
Fax +64 3 318 1289
Email wumba@xtra.co.nz
Website www.canterburyquarantine.co.nz

How much will it cost to bring pets to New Zealand?

Bringing pets to New Zealand can be a rather expensive process which varies depending on your pet’s species and where you are traveling from. The total cost broken down into the following fees:

  • Vet fees – microchipping, vaccinations and treatments varies on your vet practice fees and home country.
  • Airline fees for shipping a pet – varies widely depending on size and species of your pet, and airline.
  • Border inspection fees – fee breakdown below.
  • Import license – fee breakdown below.
  • Quarantine fees – fee breakdown below.
  • Government endorsements – varies depending on home country.

BORDER INSPECTION FEES

In most cases, when arriving in New Zealand your pet(s) will be inspected at the border. This is to determine whether an animal should be cleared or directed to a New Zealand pet quarantine facility.

For inspection of your pet there are 3 rates. The applicable rate is dependent on the country from which your pet has arrived and whether or not your pet requires a veterinary inspection.

Country of origin Fee for each animal (excl GST) Fee for each animal (incl GST)
Pets that do not require veterinary inspection $49.61 fixed fee $57.05 fixed fee
Pets that require a veterinary inspection $186.30 per hour $214.25 per hour

If your pet is directed to an MPI-approved New Zealand pet quarantine facility and you must pay the hourly veterinary inspection charges, listed below.

In some cases, you may be charged an additional fee. This is the case if your pet requires additional treatments.

Veterinary inspection charges

Below are 2 types of hourly rates that you may be charged, depending on which country your pet arrived from.

Hourly rate for veterinary inspectors * Fee (excl GST) Fee (incl GST)
Veterinary inspectors inspecting or monitoring live animals, including pets, from the EU or Switzerland $94.38 $108.54
Veterinarians inspecting or monitoring pets from all other countries (within normal working hours) $186.30 $214.25

*Hourly rates also apply to waiting times.

Travel charges

If the MPI inspector has to travel to a transitional facility, travel charges may apply:

Travel charges (distance travelled) Fee (excl GST) Fee (incl GST)
Zone 1 – up to 4km from base $34.86 $40.09
Zone 2 – more than 4km to 10km from base $70.75 $81.36
Zone 3 – more than 10km to 25km from base $109.24 $125.63
Zone 4 – more than 25km to 50km from base $149.19 $171.57
More than 50km from base Hourly rates, plus a mileage charge of $0.67 a kilometre. Other travel-related costs may also apply. Hourly rates, plus a mileage charge of $0.7705 a kilometre. Other travel-related costs may also apply.

If the veterinary inspector is called out after hours, or on a public holiday, other charges may apply.


IMPORT PERMIT FEES

Application fee Fee (excl GST) Fee (incl GST)
  • Permit to import cats and dogs from rabies-free countries (category 2)
  • Permit to import cats and dogs from countries or territories where rabies is absent or well controlled (category 3 countries plus cats or dogs arriving on boats)
  • Permit to import live animals (includes guinea pigs, rabbits and chinchillas)
$191.95* $220.74*

* If processing your application takes longer than one-and-a-half hours, additional time will be charged at an hourly rate of $102.27 excluding GST or $117.61 including GST.


NEW ZEALAND PET QUARANTINE FEE BREAKDOWN

You must contact individual quarantine facilities for their fees and charges, as these vary.

The New Zealand pet quarantine stations are as follows:


What airlines allow flying a pets to New Zealand?

Most airlines allow flying pets to New Zealand. However, depending on the airline you fly with, pet policies differ.

When flying with a pet, it’s important to check airline pet policies before booking any travel. Different airline’s have different rules for flying with pets, including which breeds are allowed, the size and weight of pets that are permitted, and the number of pets they allow. Fees also vary between airlines.

Most airlines will allow pets to fly in the cargo section of their planes, in a climate controlled, comfortable pet zone. Although some pet owners think this will be stressful for their pets, it can actually be a lot calmer than flying in the cabin.

Some airlines will allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, but generally only small dogs and cats that weigh under 8kg are permitted. This is because they must fly inside an airline-approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of their owners.

For a list of airlines that allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, check:

For a list of airlines that allow other pets on their planes, check: 


Guidelines for Pet Carriers

If you are flying to New Zealand with a pet, it is important that you use a pet carrier that is approved by your airline. Different airlines have different pet carrier policies, which often vary between aircrafts and routes. Check that your pet carrier is approved for your chosen airline, aircraft and route. 

The rules and regulations have been set out by International Air Transport Association (IATA) ensure that dogs are comfortable when travelling. Thus, inside their travel carriers, pets must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).

Furthermore, the rules for pet carriers also vary depending on whether your pet will be flying in the cabin or cargo area of the plane.

If you are travelling in the cabin with your dog or cat, then you will need to ensure that the carrier fits under the seat in front of you. This is why, generally, only small dogs and cats weighing under 7-8kg are permitted in the cabin.

Additionally, if traveling with a dog, airlines often require that he or she is be obedient to your commands and can behave appropriately in public. Thus, he mustn’t bark or growl at other passengers or staff. If your dog does not behave in an appropriate manner, some airlines may transfer him to the cargo hold at an additional cost, or refuse to transport him all together. Some airlines require a consent form to ensure your pet is flight-ready.

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Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can I take my puppy or kitten to New Zealand?

Yes, puppies and kittens at least 3 months old, traveling from Category A (no-risk rabies) countries are permitted to travel to New Zealand. However, dogs and cats must be at least 7 months of age to be permitted to enter New Zealand from any other country. Pets must be 3 months old to get their rabies vaccinations. You must then wait at least 3 month before getting your rabies titer test, the results of which can take around a month to get back in longer cases.

Can I take my pet to New Zealand with an EU Pet Passport?

You can travel to New Zealand with an EU Pet Passport, however there are additional conditions to be met. You will need to apply for an Import Permit and organise your pet to stay in quarantine on arrival. Your pet may also need additional vaccines, treatments and a rabies titer test. Please refer to the requirements section above.

Can I take my pregnant dog or cat to New Zealand with me?

Possibly. If your cat or dog will be under 42 days pregnant at the time of arrival, yes. Any dogs or cats further in their pregnancies, will not be permitted. If your pet is pregnant, you will need to provide a veterinary certificate to show how far in their pregnancy they are.


Bottom Line

So, bringing a pet to New Zealand can be a complicated process. It is particularly complicated if you are traveling from a country other than those listed as a Category A (no-risk of rabies) country.

If you haven’t been put off, just be sure to familiarise yourself with the conditions you need to meet to bring your pet to New Zealand.

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for your trip, even up to 1 year in more complicated cases! If this process seems too complicated, you can always get in contact with special pet travel agencies.

Hope you have found this helpful. Happy travels!

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