New Zealand

Pet Travel to New Zealand

A journey to New Zealand is pretty much the longest one you could go on, situated over 11,000 miles away, the 20hr flight can be a testing time for most of us humans, let alone animals. Luckily in the time we have been operating as pet travel specialists, we have helped make the whole process of getting your pets to New Zealand an easy, worry-free, and smooth process.

With a team of dedicated animal lovers able to help you, PBS Pet Travel are the easy choice for international pet transportation. In the 20+ years that we have been a pet travel agent, we have helped ship dogs, cats, snakes, spiders and much more overseas so consider a free pet travel quote today to see how simple it can be.

Of course, each country has unique requirements for pet entry and New Zealand is no different. Following these rules not only allows you to have your pet legally granted access to the country but also helps you avoid costly penalties. We have provided an overview below that will help make sure pet travel to New Zealand is as easy as possible, just be aware that laws can change so feel free to reach out to us for expert guidance and the latest updates.

The pets you can bring to New Zealand

The govt of New Zealand is rightfully very proud of its country and wants to keep its habitat as safe as possible. This means that restrictions are in place surrounding what type of pet you can bring to New Zealand. In most cases, if your pet is a dog, cat, or chinchilla you will be fine, although there are specific rules around each. Other pets will not be allowed into the country.

There are several breeds of dogs that are not allowed to enter New Zealand but as they are the same as those dog breeds banned in the UK, it is highly unlikely you have one.

Once you have discovered that your pet is deemed eligible, you should look into IATA approved pet crates and the process of booking pet flights. At PBS we can help with both aspects, having built up fantastic relationships with carriers and the airports themselves, the process of getting your pet from the UK to New Zealand is easy for you and easy for your pet.

Pet vaccinations for New Zealand

New Zealand has a strict set of rules regarding the entry of animals, and these can vary depending on animal type and the country the animal is entering New Zealand from. The UK is currently listed as a category 3 country. This means that rabies is absent or well-controlled but that you will still need a permit to be able to import your pet.

Before rushing forward and securing an import permit. You will need to make sure your dog or cat is up to date with its vaccinations.

A primary rabies vaccination must be carried out at least 6 months before the pet is due to fly to New Zealand and then a blood sample taken 3 months before departure.

It isn’t just rabies you want to be aware of. Around a month (28 days) before the flight, you should have your pet checked into the vet. This appointment should be for them to check for ticks and parasites as well as complete blood tests for Leptospira and Heartworm. 12 days later, and for dogs only, you should make a further appointment to have the vet check for Babesia and Brucella. 10 days later, with the trip now just 2 days away, your dog should head to the vet one last time. With your DEFRA expert paperwork in need of completion, this visit will allow a detailed final check from the vets and the completion of your paperwork. Don’t store this paperwork with your personal items though. This must fly with your pet to New Zealand.

New Zealand pet quarantine

If you are planning on bringing a dog or cat to New Zealand it will have to spend time in quarantine before enjoying the new place you plan to call home. Typically, the quarantine period in New Zealand for dogs and cats is 10 days, however, should your pet fall ill whilst in quarantine or should it be that the import requirements have not been met, the quarantine may be extended. You should book this at your earliest possibility once your flights are confirmed. Once booked, you will receive a letter from a quarantine station, this will then confirm the space for your dog or cat. There are currently 4 quarantine facilities listed as approved by the MPI. All of which are located in Christchurch or Auckland. As a result, only the two airports in these destinations will be eligible for your pets to fly into.

Pet import permits for New Zealand

Without an import permit you will not be able to bring your pet to New Zealand so giving this a priority is really important. Current rules state that you should apply for one a minimum of 20 days before you are due to depart for New Zealand. The turnaround time is normally 10 days but with backlogs, due to Covid-19, the New Zealand govt has stated that 20 working days is more realistic.

This is just one piece of the paperwork though.

To help with the process of getting all the correct information filled out, the MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) of New Zealand has built a set of templates to help people complete what is required. You can find them all here. Within these, you will find the online application for a pet import permit as well as veterinary certificates and checklists for your permit application.

As a guide, to apply for a pet import permit for New Zealand, you will need:

  • Official Vet Declaration
  • Rabies titration lab form
  • Rabies vaccination information
  • Confirmation of quarantine booking

Once you have all of these, send them to the MPI. Should everything be ok, a permit will be issued. Should there be any problems, they will contact you and ask for additional information.

We understand that this can all be a little confusing and at times a little complicated, if you find that you are unsure, simply speak to our team, we can help with all pet relocation services paperwork should it be necessary.


DEFRA and pet travel to New Zealand

If you have now booked flights, checked the vaccination status, booked quarantine, and received your permit, you are almost ready to go. The next stage is to ensure you have the correct export documentation. With PBS Pet Travel, we can take care of this for you, giving you one less thing to worry about when it comes to getting your furry friends abroad. We can not only give guidance on completing DEFRA paperwork, but we can also apply for the certification on your behalf!

Should you wish to do it yourself though, simply contact DEFRA and request EXA 1 forms plus an application form. Fill these out and return, your vet will then receive export papers up to 7 days before the flight departure.

Customs requirements for bringing pets into New Zealand

We said you were almost there……well there are just a few more steps to take then your pet can safely join you in New Zealand.

With all the previous steps taken, you can inform customs of your plan to enter New Zealand to do this, there are just a few simple tasks to complete, each of which should be attached in one email to the customs department

  • Fill out a customs form, which can be downloaded from the New Zealand government customs website.
  • Attach a copy of your photo ID
  • Proof you own or purchased the pet (if possible)
  • Air Waybill- this will be provided by your pet transportation company like PBS Pet Travel
  • Vet certificates
  • Exempting statutory declaration, this is also available on the customs website and is your declaration that any dog you bring to New Zealand is not one of the banned breeds.

Costs of taking pets to New Zealand

At PBS we will always be fully transparent with our costs and give you the best possible personalised free quote for the service you require from us. There are though some statutory fees in New Zealand itself that we have no control over.

You should budget for:

  • Import permit costs- Approx NZ$220
  • Border clearance charges- NZ$57 fixed fee for animals not requiring inspection. NZ$215 per hour for animals that do require inspection.
  • Quarantine costs-variable per facility.
  • Vet charges UK- These will vary per vet
  • Vet charges upon NZ arrival – if your pet is not given clearance and sent to a transitional facility NZ$215 per hour

These charges can vary and where rules may change, prices could rise or fall.

With all of these processes now complete, all that is left is to drop your pet off at the airport. They will then arrive safely in New Zealand where the airport vet will give them a check-over. Once the check is completed they will be sent to your chosen quarantine facility where they will spend the next 10 days. After which, they can enjoy the New Zealand adventure with you.

Should you be relocating to New Zealand and have a pet that needs to make the trip, contact PBS Pet Travel.