I am an Indian national and will be traveling to New Zealand as a student. Because I will be staying in New Zealand for 15 months, I was thinking whether I am allowed to carry the following items with me:

  1. canned tin packed food (vegetables and meat)

  2. medicine for hair receding (1 year)

  3. Cash USD 15,000 (tuition and personal expenses)

Is it OK to carry all these items? Am I allowed to travel with these things?

  • Is your medicine a prescription product, or over the counter? Jan 2, 2017 at 8:04
  • Jpatokal , yes it is prescribed by my doctor
    – user55500
    Jan 2, 2017 at 8:16
  • @jatin if it is only available on prescription, then you cannot take more than 3 months supply
    – Ali Awan
    Jan 2, 2017 at 8:22
  • You can use Bitcoin if you want to "move" the cash into New Zealand out-of-bank-system. Just buy them using your cash in India, optionally pass them through mixer or mixing wallet like Coinbase and sell them in New Zealand. Nobody will be able to tell where is your money from, cryptographic rules guarantee this. Jan 2, 2017 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Answer is from official New Zealand Customs for person arriving in New Zealand and you are supposed to declare (Cash, Food and Medicine) in passenger arrival card upon arrival.

1 Agriculture Item And Food

The following classes of goods must be declared to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI):

  • Food of any kind.
  • Animals (alive or dead) or their products.

Further from official Ministry of Primary industries, vegetable and meat product would be considered a potential risk to New Zealand:

  • Any food – cooked, uncooked, fresh, preserved, packaged or dried.
  • Animals or animal products – including meat, dairy products, fish, honey, bee products, eggs, feathers, shells, raw wool, skins, bones
    or insects.

Travelers who fill out the Biosecurity/Quarantine section of the Passenger Arrival Card incorrectly risk an instant fine of $400.

More than that, you could be fined up to $100,000, or get a prison term of up to five years, for serious breaches of New Zealand's biosecurity laws.

2 Medicine

Personal imports (accompanying a traveller)

If you arrive in New Zealand carrying prescription medicine on your person or in your luggage you may only bring it in if you:

  • Declare the medicine on your Passenger Arrival Card.
  • Have a copy of the medicine’s prescription or a letter from your doctor stating that you are being treated with the medicine.
  • Have the medicine in its original pharmacy container, with your name on the label, and strength and dosage details clearly stated.
  • Have no more than three months supply (oral contraceptives, where a six month supply is permitted, are the exception).

You are allowed to carry your medicine for 3 months supply only provided they are prescribed with a confirmation letter from your doctor and in its original sealed packing. Therefore, carrying 1 year medicine will not be allowed.

3 Border Cash Report

You are allowed to carry USD 15,000 in New Zealand and you must declare that amount in Border Cash Report

Anyone carrying NZ$10,000 or more (or foreign equivalent) in cash on their person or in their baggage, into or out of New Zealand, must complete a Border Cash Report as part of their entry or clearance procedures.

Cash means physical currency, bearer-negotiable instruments, or both.

A bearer-negotiable instrument means:

a bill of exchange,a cheque, a promissory note, a bearer bond, a traveler's cheque. A money order, postal order, or similar order.

This legislation does not prohibit the import or export of cash sums of NZ$10,000 or more – it simply requires that these sums are reported.

Moreover you are supposed to declare in passenger arrival card section 6 that you are bringing medicine, Cash and food into New Zealand.

Personally I would't carry that much cash as there are many ways to transfer funds into New Zealand for a minimal bank fee. Also if you don't have a bank account in New Zealand yet, you can always make an overseas demand draft/pay order and deposit into your account once you arrive in New Zealand.

  • 1
    Otherwise +1, but the 3 month rule is for prescription medication, it's not clear if this applies to the OP's drugs. Jan 2, 2017 at 8:03
  • @jpatokal looks like propecia which is not a prescribed medicine, still not sure which hair receding product he is carrying
    – Ali Awan
    Jan 2, 2017 at 8:05
  • It seems odd that any medicine would be prescribed for a whole year's supply, because of issues like deterioration through incorrect storage, misuse/overdosing, or even re-selling it at a profit! For example in the UK even medicines which will be required for the rest of the patient's life are only prescribed in quantities for a maximum of 2 months at a time. OTOH if access to medical services is difficult in some part of the world, I suppose the conventions there might be different.
    – alephzero
    Jan 2, 2017 at 9:54
  • @alephzero it is very common in certain countries like India, pakistan where you buy medicine in a bulk :)
    – Ali Awan
    Jan 2, 2017 at 10:21
  • 6
    Note that, while you must declare the tinned food, it will probably be allowed in: "Generally, MPI officials at the border will allow in most food that meets these 3 criteria: Commercially prepared and packaged; Shelf-stable; Unopened." If it's declared, the worst that can happen is that it's confiscated (barring really unlikely circumstances, e.g. your tinnned food is made of an endangered species or contains illegal drugs... in that case you might face some penalties).
    – Pont
    Jan 2, 2017 at 10:56

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