Products that can and cannot be imported into New Zealand

If you are planning to import ozone-depleting substances – either as a bulk consignment of gas or within goods (like refrigerants) – you can only do so under limited circumstances.

Importing certain ozone-depleting substances is strictly controlled in New Zealand. You must apply to us before you can import these substances, and the procedure to follow depends on whether you wish to import methyl bromide, or another substance.

For information about the process for importing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a chemical used in some refrigeration systems instead of ozone-depleting gases, see our guidance:

Importing and exporting hydrofluorocarbon gases

Conditions for importing bulk ozone-depleting substances Plus

Methyl bromide

Importing bulk methyl bromide is prohibited except under certain conditions:

  • only wholesalers can apply
  • the importer must:
    • apply to us, the EPA, for an import permit before the import can take place
    • state how much is to be imported
    • show that the sole intended use of the methyl bromide is for fumigation of goods during quarantine or before shipping
    • if the application is to replace previously legally-imported methyl bromide, evidence must support this.
    • the methyl bromide must be imported from a country that is compliant with the Montreal Protocol.

We may ask for further information and for a statutory declaration to verify any statement made.

CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, HBFCs, HCFCs and bromochloromethane

Importing these ozone-depleting substances in bulk is prohibited except under these conditions:

  • the importer must apply to us, the EPA, for an import exemption before the import can take place
  • you cannot import newly-manufactured bulk ozone-depleting substances or certain manufactured goods (see next section of this webpage: Goods that cannot be imported)
  • an import exemption may be granted for bulk recycled substances (meaning quantities of the substance in a container, not in a finished product)
  • the importer must provide evidence that the substance was recovered, cleaned or reclaimed and provide a document stating that the substance is recycled
  • the importer must provide a statutory declaration stating that the substance is recycled, if requested.

We may ask for further information or a statutory declaration to verify any other statement made.

Other exemptions

Some ozone-depleting substances may be imported in limited circumstances, where it is necessary for human health or safety, and for uses where the Montreal protocol defines it as an essential and critical use.

For more about which substances can be imported and the circumstances, see section 29 of the Ozone Layer Protection Regulations 1996

Download the Montreal Protocol

Manufactured items that can be imported Plus

You can import packaging containing the controlled ozone-depleting substances listed above, as long as they do not contain CFCs. You can import certain personal effects containing these substances, as long as you can demonstrate that they are not intended for another person as a gift, or for sale or exchange.

Goods that cannot be imported Plus

Manufactured goods may not be imported into New Zealand if they contain, or are designed to contain, any of the controlled ozone-depleting substances listed above. This includes:

  • aerosol sprays, except those containing methyl bromide or a hydrofluorocarbon gas (HFC)
  • plastic foam, or any goods that contain plastic foam, that were manufactured using a CFC, including polystyrene foam and boardstock, and thermoformed plastic packaging including: supermarket meat/produce trays, egg cartons, fast-food containers, disposable crockery and packaging netting
  • dry-cleaning machines containing, or that are designed to contain, the controlled substances above as a solvent
  • fire extinguishers containing any of the substances above
  • dehumidifiers, refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioners, supermarket display cases, heat pumps, and water coolers that contain any CFC (except in limited circumstances, please check with us)
  • goods from a party to the Montreal Protocol – (unless they contain an HCFC, an HFC, or methyl bromide) – this includes:
  • automobile and truck air conditioning units (whether incorporated in vehicles or not)
  • refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, water coolers, and ice machines ­
  • air conditioning and heat pump units
  • other domestic and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning or heat pump equipment,
  • aerosol products (other than medical aerosols)
  • portable fire extinguishers
  • insulation boards, panels, and pipe covers
  • pre-polymers (a reactive mixture of isocyanate and polyol to which CFCs are added to manufacture rigid plastic foams).

See schedules 2 and 3 of the Ozone Layer Protection Regulations 1996 for complete lists

Bringing in halon fire extinguishers on aeroplanes Plus

New Zealand-based/registered aircraft

If you bring a New Zealand-registered plane into New Zealand an­d it is carrying a halon fire extinguisher that:

  • is new to the aircraft
  • has been refilled
  • has been topped up

you must apply for an import exemption if the equipment will be in New Zealand for more than 28 working days.

If you send a fire extinguisher out of the country for maintenance and no additional ozone-depleting substances are added, you will not need to apply for an import exemption, but you must ask the hydrostatic tester for a letter verifying this for NZ Customs.

Imports and foreign (non-New Zealand) aircraft

Foreign aircraft coming into New Zealand for a short period (less than 28 days) and leaving with the same fire extinguisher on board, do not need an import exemption.

If the aircraft is foreign and will be brought in to the country permanently (meaning its fire extinguisher will be located permanently in New Zealand) – or if the extinguisher will be brought in to have work carried out and will be in the country for an extended period of time – you may need to apply for an import exemption. Please contact us to discuss this.

If the fire extinguishers are imported into New Zealand and then fitted to an aircraft for maintenance, and the aircraft will be leaving New Zealand with the extinguisher in the same condition, check the table below to see what you need to do:

If the aircraft is New Zealand-registered

Apply for an import exemption

If the aircraft is not New Zealand-registered, and the fire extinguisher will be in the country for 20 working days or longer

Apply for an import exemption and an export permit

If the aircraft is not New Zealand-registered, and the fire extinguisher will be in the country for less than 20 working days

Please contact us to discuss your plans. It is likely that you will need to apply for an exemption.

If you haven’t applied in advance for permission to bring your halon extinguishers into New Zealand, you could face a fine of up to $200,000 if stopped at the border.

To apply for an import exemption

To apply for an export permit