customs restrictions for new zealand


Jun 8th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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customs restrictions for new zealand

I know that New Zealand is strict on keeping foreign soil, grasses, etc... out of the country so we are planning to give our hiking boots a good cleaning before we depart. However, I just went to the customs website and see that we will also have to declare "food of any kind". We often pack some food items with us like snack bars, cereal, etc so that my picky son has some foods he likes and so we don't have to worry about grocery shopping when we first arrive. Will we have problems if we pack these types of items? We'd be fine declaring them but are they allowed at all? Or would we end up just having to throw them out. We wouldn't be packing anything listed on this high risk list from the website: " fresh fruit and vegetables, egg cartons, all honey and bee products, straw, dried flowers, seeds, cane/bamboo/rattan items, pine cones, potpourri and other organic matter."

Thanks for the help.
see_the_world7 is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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I usually bring in granola bars and they are allowed. I can't speak to the cereal. Any packaging that is loose or open might be tossed if they though a bug could sneak in there.

Don't worry, the cereal aisle in supermarkets is HUGE. And Kiwis like their "porridge" aka oatmeal.
mlgb is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2011, 07:25 PM
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You simply need to declare all your food - then you will have absolutely no problems - the customs officer will politely ask you what you have and may or may not want to investigate further. If they do want to have a look at it they are only going to take what is a threat but you've already read the website to know what those items are.

I imagine that the items you are talking about will be absolutely no problems to bring in. You would not believe what some people try to bring into both New Zealand and Australia - sometimes they have entire suitcases of the most questionable items ever.

Our Customs Officers are extremely polite and very helpful - you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
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Jun 10th, 2011, 09:42 PM
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Be prepared to present your hiking boots for inspection - not a big deal, only takes a few minutes.

Just declare any food you bring. Commercially prepared snack foods aren't generally a problem. We brought coffee, chai, agave nectar, and chocolate. No problem. Leave all airline food on the plane.
Melnq8 is online now  
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Jun 11th, 2011, 01:42 AM
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Thanks all. We emailed the Agriculture and Customs folks and they said everything we listed was fine, but to declare it. I've printed that email to have with me as well. I'll go ahead and pack like usual then taking care to leave out anything that might be questionable.
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Jun 12th, 2011, 02:55 AM
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Declare EVERY item of food on arrival. We had an official warning for not declaring a small jar of unopened honey we had forgotten about despite listing everything else on the customs form. The customs officers searching our bags were very polite and welcoming but the person who gave us the written warning was incredibly rude. Not the sort of treatment I would have expected for a clearly innocent oversight but maybe he was just having a bad day.One guy on the same plane as us was not so lucky. He tried to take through two bananas given to him on the Qantas flight over and was fined $200. Expensive fruit at $100 a piece!
crellston is online now  
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Jun 12th, 2011, 05:02 AM
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Thanks for the warning crellston. Honey is on the list of high risk food items on the customs site. Is that why the honey was a problem? I'll make a list of all the food items so that I have them ready to declare.
see_the_world7 is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Honey and fresh fruit are definite no-nos. Honey is prohibited because of the risk of bringing in the varroa mite or other pests. These prohibitions are well signposted.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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They will also examine items crafted with wood or vegetation, I saw some poor woman have her lavender sachets poked with a knife and then confiscated.
mlgb is offline  
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Jun 13th, 2011, 11:23 PM
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Really good advice here. Just declare any food at all and you will be fine. Some people try to smuggle in entire suitcases full of meat, plant products, spices, herbs, seeds, etc, and then pretend they don't speak English and didn't understand the customs declaration forms.
Don't take in any fruit, dairy products, nothing fresh, nothing from the plane, and definitely no honey. Snack foods you won't have a problem with - just DECLARE IT, even if its just chocolate and candy, snack bars, etc. Last year on returning from Canada I bought back some smoked salmon, Maple syrup, and some oils, and that was all fine - they just wanted to take a look and see how it was packaged.
They are also strict with tramping boots, camping gear, etc so make sure yours are absolutely clean, otherwise they will take them away for further cleaning - at your cost and time.
If in doubt - Declare, and you won't go wrong. Our customs officers are not monsters, and if you are honest and declare, you won't have any problems.
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