New Zealand Pet Passport & Import Regulations
Your pet must have resided in a country that New Zealand classifies as a rabies-free or rabies-controlled for a minimum of 6 months prior to import. If your pet is a puppy or kitten, it must have been born in New Zealand and not left the country prior to export. Countries that New Zealand classifies as rabies-free can be found in items 7 and 8.
Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs and cats. Owners of other pets should refer to item 15.
Permit to Import applied for at least 6 weeks in advance is required for all countries except Australia. The permit will be valid for 6 months or until the expiration of the rabies vaccination.
Vaccinations & Tests
Unless your dog or cat is entering New Zealand from a country listed in step #7, your pet must have a current rabies vaccination after microchip insertion. (Your pet must be at least 3 months old prior to being vaccinated for rabies.) 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 no less than 6 months and no more than 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. Proof of prior vaccinations must be provided.
Dogs must be tested and treated for Leptospiros within 30 days of travel. If your dog is 6 months or older, it must have a heartworm test and be treated against heartworm within 30 days of travel.
Other tests for dogs include Brucella canis which must be administered at least 16 days before travel. If testing positive, your dog will not be permitted import to New Zealand.
If your dog is originating from an area that is known for ourbreaks of canine influenza like the United States or Canada, your dog must be vaccinated against the virus. Ask your vet about a vaccination if you are traveling with a cat.
Rabies Titer Test
Unless your pet is entering New Zealand from a country listed in step #7, a rabies titer test must be administered not less than 3 months and not more than 24 months prior to entry. If your dog or cat is not currently vaccinated for rabies, it should wait 30 days after rabies vaccination before the titer test is administered.
Your pet will need a Veterinary Certificate for New Zealand issued by an accredited veterinarian within 10 days of travel to be endorsed by the USDA or CFIA if your pet is traveling from the United States or Canada respectively. If your pet is traveling from another country, the Governing Authority responsible for the import and export of animals should endorse your forms.
Another health examination must be performed 2 days before travel.
Parasite and Other Treatments/Tests
All dogs must have 2 treatments against internal and external parasites within 30 days of entering New Zealand and 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.
Within 16 days of travel, your dog must be tested for Babesia gibsoni and, if ever traveled to or lived in South Africa, it must be tested for Babesia canis. Dogs entering New Zealand from all countries except Australia must be tested for Brucella canis and also be tested or treated for Leptospirosis.
Dogs will also need a heartworm test within 30 days of travel.
Countries that New Zealand considers to be 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.
Countries that New Zealand considers to be rabies-controlled countries: 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.
Note: If your pet has not resided in one of the above countries listed in items 7 and 8 for a period of at least 6 months (except Australia), it will not be permitted to enter New Zealand. Pets can enter New Zealand after completing requirements to enter Australia. Your pet can either reside in an approved country for at least 6 months or submit a request for inclusion by submitting information from the government veterinary authority regarding rabies status and control measures and programs in place to control rabies. Requests will be prioritized and considered quarterly.
All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to New Zealand. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.
Your pet will be subject to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days even if you follow the regulations of New Zealand Government. No quarantine is required if entering from Australia or Norfolk Island. Keep in mind that it takes four to six months to get all the endorsements necessary, so plan ahead.
Entering New Zealand by Air
Pets must enter New Zealand as air cargo at international airports located in Auckland and Christchurch and may only transit through approved countries listed in items 7 and 8. As of October 22, 2017, dogs and cats are no longer permitted to enter New Zealand at Wellington.
Assistance dogs may enter New Zealand in the cabin only if they are licensed by a nationally/internationally recognised organisation that is a member of Assistance Dogs International (or the International Guide Dog Federation - for guide dogs). Emotional assistance dogs are not usually able to meet this criteria.
If your cat or dog is changing aircraft in New Zealand or will be in transit for more than 6 hours, it will need a transit permit, a microchip, flea and tick prevention, rabies prevention (unless from a country recognised as rabies free in the list in item 7)
Longer layovers will mean your pet will need a reservation at an approved quarantine facility. Layovers cannot be more than 48 hours.
Dogs and cats transiting New Zealand whose layover is more than 6 hours will need a transit permit (valid for 30 days), microchip, proof of flea and tick treatment and a current rabies vaccination (unless transiting from a country in step #7). Dogs will need proof of heartworm prevention.
You must notify an official veterinarian in New Zealand at least 5 working days before arrival for cats and dogs from Australia, and at least 72 hours before arrival for cats and dogs from all other approved countries.
Note that dogs and cats cannot transit New Zealand if they are originating from a non-approved country.
Entering New Zealand by Boat
Cats and dogs arriving onboard private yachts, boats or commercial vessels must meet requirements as stated above. They must be secured onboard while docked at an approved port until they are given clearance.
If your cat or dog does not meet the requirements or is ineligible to enter New Zealand, your animal must remain secured onboard the boat while the vessel is docked, and your animal will not be allowed to stay in New Zealand longer than 6 months.
Puppies and Kittens
Unvaccinated Puppies and kittens less than three months old may not enter New Zealand.
The following breeds are banned from import to New Zealand: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario and any type of American Pit Bull Terrier.
All dogs and cats leaving New Zealand must depart from Auckland, Wellington or Christ Church Airports, if flying.
All pets, except cats and dogs headed for Australia, must be microchipped and have all required documentation for their destination country. Find pet import requirements for over 200 countries. Also, pets on flights over 6 hours in duration must have a animal welfare export certificate from an MPI official veterinarian. An export certificate must also be issued by an MIP Veterinarian. We would note that the format of this certificate may not be the same as the health certificate required by the importing country.
Dogs and cats leaving New Zealand for Australia will need to be microchipped and have an export permit issued by an MPT-approved veterinarian.
The following animals may not be imported to New Zealand: birds, reptiles, mice, rats and ferrets. Rabbits and guinea pigs may be imported only from Australia with an Import Permit. Chinchillas may be imported from the UK only.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations.
Need More Assistance?
To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on PetTravel.com reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given country may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense, return your pet to the country of origin, or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.
Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM EST.
GOT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS???
Due to the high demand, we may be unable to respond to your question quickly if posted below. If you need a fast response, you can post them directly to our Facebook page, blog, or forum. We will respond as soon as we can.
Please note that the accuracy of comments made from Facebook users other than Pet Travel have not been verified. We do not endorse any person or company that may offer transport services through posts to this webpage.