Steps to importing pets other than cats & dogs

To import pets you need to meet specific requirements before they can enter New Zealand. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.


Follow the steps

Step1

What you need to know

An overview of importing pets other than cats and dogs, from start to finish.

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Other than cats and dogs, you can only import:

  • rabbits from Australia
  • chinchillas from Great Britain
  • guinea pigs from Australia.

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

  • comply with the relevant import health standard (IHS)
  • check that your rabbit or chinchilla or guinea pig is eligible for import into New Zealand
  • 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.

Related import processes

Refer to other sections of the website if you're importing:

Step2

What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

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Check whether your pet is eligible for entry into New Zealand

Chinchillas

Your chinchilla:

  • can be imported only from Great Britain
  • must have been born and bred in captivity
  • must be identified by a permanent tag or tattoo that can be easily read
  • may be placed under restriction if living in Southland.

Contact Environment Southland for chinchilla restrictions

Rabbits and guinea pigs

Your rabbit or guinea pig:

  • can be imported only from Australia
  • must have been born and bred in captivity
  • must be identified by a microchip or tattoo.

Consider using a pet exporter

MPI recommends you contact a professional pet exporter in your pet's country to help arrange treatments, flights, permits to import, shipping crates, and other requirements. Some airlines require a pet exporter to book flights for animals because this adds assurance that all requirements will be completed at the appropriate time before departure.

Comply with import health standard requirements

You need to read and understand the import health standard (IHS) for the animal you want to bring to New Zealand. Make sure you can meet all of the requirements of the IHS, including veterinary documentation.

Download the IHS for rabbits from Australia [PDF, 68 KB]

Download the IHS for chinchillas from Great Britain [PDF, 21 KB]

Download the IHS for guinea pigs from Australia [PDF, 245 KB]

Apply for an import permit

Download the permit application form for importing chinchillas, rabbits and guinea pigs into New Zealand.

You'll need to:

  • apply for the permit at least 6 weeks before your animal leaves the country of export
  • send the application form with the permit fee to MPI (it may take MPI up to 10 working days to process the application).

Step3

Getting your import documents

How you know you've met MPI requirements.

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Your pets will be cleared for entry into New Zealand after they've been inspected on arrival, if they're found to be healthy and all the required documentation is in order.

Approved countries and species

Other than cats and dogs, you can only import 3 species of animals as pets to New Zealand, and they have to be from approved countries. They are:

  • chinchillas from Great Britain
  • rabbits from Australia
  • guinea pigs from Australia.

Some species of fish can also be imported, but the import process is different.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about importing your pet into New Zealand, email animalimports@mpi.govt.nz.

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