Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for personal importation of Medicines?
Bringing medicines into New Zealand on your person or in luggage
If you are arriving into New Zealand and carrying prescription medicines (other than controlled drugs) either on your person or in your luggage you must ensure:
- You declare the possession of those medicines on your incoming passenger arrival card which is lawfully required, and inspected, by the New Zealand Customs Service; and
- You have a copy of the prescription from your doctor, or a letter from your doctor stating that you are being treated with the medicine(s), and
- You carry the medicine(s) in their original containers, and
- You have a quantity not exceeding three months supply for prescription medicines (with the exception of oral contraceptives which can be supplied in six month quantities.
All other medicines including herbal medicines, dietary supplements and over-the-counter medicines may be imported without the above documentation provided they do not contain prescription medicines. Over the counter medicines may only be imported for individual use or for a member of your immediate family. Please note that anything in your possession that might be considered as a prescription medicine or controlled drug must be declared on your incoming passenger arrival card. If in doubt, declare it.
Having medicines sent from an overseas supplier
If you are having medicines sent to from overseas you will be required to prove you have a “reasonable excuse” for the importation.
We define “reasonable excuse” as either:
- An original letter from a New Zealand authorised prescriber (doctor,
dentist, midwife or nurse prescriber - the prescriber must be one who is
authorised to prescribe these medicines to you),
- An original prescription from a New Zealand authorised prescriber (doctor, dentist, midwife or nurse prescriber).
Medicines containing controlled drugs cannot be imported in this manner.