International restrictions & prohibitions

Prohibited items

Any items listed as 'Forbidden' in the current IATA list of Dangerous Goods Regulations and applicable addenda.

New Zealand Customs

Any goods to New Zealand that are prohibited by New Zealand Customs

United Nations Security Council

Any prohibitions imposed by the United Nations Security Council

Lithium Ion/Metal Batteries

Any lithium ion/metal batteries designated as UN3480

Small recreational vehicles

Small recreational vehicles powered by lithium batteries that are also known as hoverboards, rideables, airwheel, solowheel, mini Segway, or balance wheel, etc.

Somalia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria or Bangladesh

Goods that have originated/transited/transferred in or through Somalia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria or Bangladesh.


All Cargo or Mail originating and destined for Russia

Wild animals & plants

Any species of wild animal or plants as listed in appendices I, II, or III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) without the applicable permits.

Shark or dolphin products

Shark or dolphin products or by-products (other than shark meat for human consumption caught under the New Zealand commercial fisheries quota management system) is prohibited from carriage on Air New Zealand national or international services even if the shipper is holding a Cites certificate.


Whale meat, derivatives and products, and whale hunting equipment and/or supplies.

Hunting trophies

Lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo hunting trophies. 

Firearms, Military Goods and Technologies
The export from New Zealand of strategic goods (firearms, military goods and technologies, and goods and technologies that can be used in the production, development or delivery of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons) is prohibited under the Customs and Excise Act 1996, unless a permit has been obtained from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Restricted Items

Live Animals

The following breeds of canines (including semen and embryos):

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Brazilian Fila

There are also some restrictions for Brachycephalic breeds. Please refer to international pet services.


Greyhounds used for racing or breeding purposes are prohibited on Air New Zealand services. Consideration may be given for a domesticated family pet or for a rehoming program. Contact Air New Zealand Cargo for more information.

Munitions of War

All firearms and associated parts require the following

1. Verification of Country of Origin (If country of origin is USA, a U.S. State Department License is required)

2. Commercial Invoice

3. Import permit. 

Shippers need to provide these documents to their local customer service team prior to booking in order to obtain approval from AKL HQ prior to carriage. Once authorized, the firearm can then be booked for transport.

Also note the authorization process could take up to 10 days.

Human Remains

Please confirm your booking requirements with your local customer service team for full requirements as they do vary for country of destination.

Documentation required to ship human remains internationally.

Certificate of Death

  • Certificate of embalming or cremation
  • Certificate from mortician certifying that the inner container is hermetically sealed in accordance with the packaging instructions
  • Statement from a recognized health authority that there was no communicable or infectious disease present
  • Statement from the consigning funeral director or mortician (on letterhead) that the container enclosed only the body of the deceased person and necessary packaging
  • Clear copy of the deceased person passport, or government issued identification.

Packaging required to ship human remains 

  • Cremated remains must be shipped in funeral urns with cushioning materials in a sealed outer box
  • Embalmed human remains must be shipped in hermetically sealed inner container of lead, bronze, zinc or steel. Alternatively many countries permit polyethylene sheeting with a minimum thickness of 0.01IN/0.25mm to be used with all excess air removed and both ends sealed with double welds.
  • The funeral directors are aware of the various countries requirements and can be consulted for clarification. The destination station could also provide this information if required.
  • The inner container must be enclosed in an outer wooden casket or crate suitably prepared for transportation. The latter may be packed to be protected from damage. In a case and/or may be covered by canvas or a tarpaulin so that the nature of the contents is not apparent.

It is particularly important that adequate packaging is placed around the casket to prevent damage during handling or transportation.

For information on shipping human remains within New Zealand click here.