Our boat’s experience with New Zealand Customs

We arrived in Opua, New Zealand yesterday (November 22, 2010).

Upon arrival we tied to the customs dock, which fits about 15 boats in style. At eight am four customs officers arrived on the docks and started to clear the boats.

New Zealand reserves the right to force arriving boats to haul to have their bottoms cleaned if the bottom has too much growth. We cleaned Scream before departing Tonga. The officer complemented us on the cleanliness of our bottom. We haven’t painted the bottom in 15 months and are only moderately impressed with its cleanliness.

There are tons of stories circulating about what food can and can not be brought into New Zealand. The rules are long, and say that many items are at the discretion of the individual customs officer. The following items were seized from us:

  1. Dry beans, except lentils
  2. Eggs, including hard boiled
  3. All fresh fruit and vegetables
  4. All garbage and recyclables

We did not have any meat or honey aboard, as we had been correctly informed that they would be seized.

Despite the rumours, the following items were not seized from us:

  1. UHT, canned, and powdered milk
  2. Anything canned (except meat)
  3. Butter (NZ and foreign, frozen and not)
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Rice
  6. Flour
  7. Straw fans, hats, etc.
  8. Frozen vegetables in commercial packages

I hope that this helps to clear the confusion.

4 Comments

  1. defies logic and common sense these seizures, but glad you survived this in good spirits.

    Bon Voyage

  2. I am amazed it was not more– but we are super happy the land of plenty was able to allow you to have so much! love from the family at June and harald’s this weekend– June, harald, Katherine, Karen, Christine and Daniel

  3. Hi Guys,
    Happy you finally made it down here. I am spending some time with my mother in Raumati Beach, north of Wellington following the death of my Father on Nov 17. I can be contacted at 4-299-7227 or I can call you once you get a phone organized. You can text me on my Canadian cell 778-678-8852, it works most of the time.
    Welcome to Aotearoa!!!
    Captain Pedro

  4. My friends Gay & Bob advised me of your pending arrival and if you plan to be at Gulf Harbour Marina I would like to have another look at Scream’s lovely lines and burgandy sail covers. I will watch the web site. Tena koutou. Joan Morrison. Red Beach.