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Bringing food into NZ

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California
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Bringing food into NZ

I have read some past threads about bringing food items into the country. We will arrive Feb 16th to sail. We know not to bring in food from the plane, fruits, nuts, vegies etc. We know to declare everything. We know not to hide any food. We know to write everything down we are bringing in.

So my question is how about spices? I have some spice packs to make certain dishes I would like to bring so I don't have to buy large amounts of each spice. Coffee? Can I bring the coffee I like from home? Tuna packs? Someone said any spice pack that contains a milk product is a no no. Its dried milk.

A friend of mine who went to NZ about 8 years ago said customs was so stricked they took away her breath mints. Really?

New Zealand
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for South Island
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1. Re: Bringing food into NZ

Personally I wouldn't bother - I like to experience new and different tastes when travelling - however if you can't be weaned then declare everything and see what happens :)

California
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2. Re: Bringing food into NZ

I love to try new things too and we will, but you know how everyone has a favorite recipe and some ingredients might be harder to find while sailing.

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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3. Re: Bringing food into NZ

NZ Bio security is very strict, however a huge range of food items ARE allowed in. My understanding is that provided the food items are commercially processed, and you can prove this, (by, for example, presenting them in their original unopened containers.) then they will probably be alowed in. There are, of course, exceptions,, and to be sure you should contact MAF. This site will give you some general information.

http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/enter/personal

I'm not sure about spices. Those which are commercially processed by roasting or otherwise heated should be OK, but those which are simply dried and ground, probably not.

If you are not sure, then bring them, declare them, and let the Bio security people make the decision. The worst that will happen is that they will be confiscated and destroyed, and you will have to buy more on arival. Whatever you do don't make any attempt to conceal them, or pack them in such a way that it may look like a concealment, even if unintentional. The fines are quite substantial.

Have a great holiday in our lovely country.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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4. Re: Bringing food into NZ

If you bring any spices or food that may be suspect ensure that it is commercially packed and unopened. Spices etc in unlabelled bags will be taken a there is no way of knowing exactly what it is and its origin. I cant gurantee that any other spices etc wont be seized either. New Zealand has some of the finest coffee in the world. Be brave and try ours, leave your own favourite coffee for when you get home.

In the ranges of food available here in NZ it is unlikely that you wont be able to find spices to cook with here in our larger supernarkets or Asian stores. If a particular spice is not available use somethiong else be adventurous, experiment a little.

If you bring an assortment of foods with you be prepared to be taken aside, questioned and have all your bags searched. At the end of the day is it worth the hassle to be able to make a curry from home when a curry from NZ maybe nicer.

Safe travelling

5. Re: Bringing food into NZ

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New Zealand
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6. Re: Bringing food into NZ

We have a TV programme which screens here called Border Security. Just this week there was an episode featuring a couple who tried to maintain that their spices were not food. Clearly, it was intended to be consumed and it was all confiscated.

I am sure breath mints would be okay however :)

New Zealand
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7. Re: Bringing food into NZ

If you insist on bringing your favourite spices and coffee to NZ ::: ensure each individual food item is commercially manufactured and packaged, seal/packaging intact (ie unopened), each food item must have full ingredient listing in English and hopefully Country of Origin listed on the packaging. Be warned that you will be at the mercy of NZ Bio-Security inspectors, who only see things as black and white as per the Bio-Security Manual; there is no grey area and no point in contradicting or arguing with them.

If you bring it, be prepared to lose it.

There are great supermarkets in NZ, my particular favourite is NewWorld - a more upmarket grocery store. Every city will have at least one Asian grocery store and way too many Coffee Shops that have all sorts of beans, coventional beans as well as organic beans, as beanb41 suggests - try NZ coffee for a change! (You may find you want to take NZ coffee beans home with you - ha ha!!!)

Again, what you have to remember is :

IF YOU BRING IT, BE PREPARED TO LOSE IT

New Zealand
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8. Re: Bringing food into NZ

If the coffee and spices are commercially packaged and have not been opened, you should be fine. There are a few things in the seed line that may be examined closely.

I am a serious coffee nut and I have brought in coffee multiple times from various destinations. I've also various packaged nuts, vanilla pods, dried fruits and assorted preserves, cookies and sweets. None of these have been confiscated, although the vanilla pods got a really close inspection.

The loss of the breath mints mystifies me, unless they had some medicinal ingredient in them perhaps? Sweets are so processed, they're generally no problem.

If you declare everything, you're highly unlikely to have your bags searched. Just make sure that you've packed your declared items either in your hand luggage or at the top of your suitcase so you can easily bring them out for inspection.

Edited: 31 January 2013, 05:38
9. Re: Bringing food into NZ

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