NZ border restrictions

The New Zealand Government has provided an exemption for visiting yachts with refit, repairs or refurbishment booked in with New Zealand marine industry companies.

30 July 2020


The New Zealand government is, from July 2020, allowing foreign-flagged vessels and yachts with booked-in refits or repairs to enter New Zealand.

“New Zealand is respected for its world-class tradespeople and has many sheltered harbours and ports where clusters of marine industry companies are well-equipped to service local and visiting vessels.

“The New Zealand Government understands the huge economic value that visiting commercial vessels and yachts bring to the New Zealand marine industry.

“We are delighted that they have quickly responded to our industry’s request to allow foreign-flagged vessels, with work to be done, to be allowed into our country,” says executive director of NZ Marine, Peter Busfield.

The refits, repairs or refurbishment on a vessel/yacht applying for an exemption must be of substantial nature and not less than NZ$50,000 in cost. The new exemption rules also allow a vessel/yacht to be delivered to a business in New Zealand.


For example, a vessel delivered on its own hull or on a ship to an agent that is selling the vessel in New Zealand, or a vessel being delivered to a commercial operator, are also allowed entry. The border exemption does not allow vessels travelling for leisure to enter the country.

NZ Marine in association with the Ministry of Health, MBIE, Immigration NZ and Maritime NZ have developed a step-by-step guide to the process to apply for a border exemption for a visiting vessel.

This guide is available to NZ Marine superyacht agent members and NZ Marine boatyard members, which can assist visiting yachts wishing to visit New Zealand with the vessel/yachts with a border exemption application. 

These companies can be found on nzmarine.com. 

The New Zealand air and sea border is closed to all non-New Zealand nationals due to COVID-19.

New Zealand requires all returning New Zealand nationals to go into government-provided isolation accommodation for fourteen days after arrival and to have a COVID-19 test after three days and then after twelve days of going into isolation.

New Zealand, with a total population of five million, has only twenty-two active cases of COVID-19 – all returning New Zealand residents currently within isolation centres – and no active COVID-19 cases in the community. There are no restrictions of activity within New Zealand, with NZ Marine’s own Auckland Boat Show set to go ahead from 8–11 October on Auckland’s waterfront.

“As the first major boat show of the year in Australasia for 2020, we’re expecting huge crowds,” says Busfield.

 The New Zealand industry, with its spring /summer season starting in October, is looking forward to a busy season with visiting yachts now seeking to visit New Zealand for refit and safe haven.



  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement