Maritime border control

Ships arriving in New Zealand from overseas are subject to health entry requirements. These relate to potential public health risks, such as ill-health among passengers and crew, or the presence of animals or insects that may carry diseases, such as rodents or mosquitoes. The primary aim of these requirements is to prevent the international spread of disease or other public health risks.

There are customs, biosecurity and health requirements that arriving ships must comply with. The health requirements are detailed in the sections below. This information is general and not specific to the COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 and the maritime sector

New Zealand’s maritime border will reopen to foreign-flagged vessels, including cruise ships, at 11:59pm 31 July 2022. Details of any updates to the requirements that have been imposed to contain and control the spread of COVID-19 will be provided as they become available. Read more on the COVID-19: Maritime sector page.

In this section

  • To receive pratique (quarantine clearance), ships must submit an Advance Notice of Arrival Form at least 48 hours before arrival, with an updated No Change of Health Status message 12-24 hours before arrival. Read more
  • Vessels arriving in New Zealand must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health, covering the health status of those on board and conditions during the voyage. Read more
  • Health officials may grant quarantine clearance (pratique) under certain conditions. Read more
  • The Director-General of Health has exempted some types of ships from certain ‘business-as-usual’ quarantine requirements. Read more
  • The Master of a ship must inform the local Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer when any person on board in any harbour at any time has symptoms suspected to be caused by a notifiable infectious disease. Read more
  • Ships travelling in international waters are required to hold a current Ship Sanitation Control Certificate or a ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate. Read more
  • The arrival requirements for cruise ships are the same as for other ships. However, cruise ships may be visited by health officers as part of a First Port Surveillance Programme. Read more
  • The Minister may from time to time declare any specified portion of any harbour to be a place of inspection to which ships liable to quarantine shall be taken while awaiting inspection by the Medical Officer of Health or Health Protection Officer. Read more
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