Shipping to New Zealand

Get up-to-date local information about import procedures and restrictions, demurrage and detention, container pick-ups and more.

Demurrage and Detention

Temporary terms effective from today 26th March 2020 to the 23rd April 2020

Maersk will waive the detention incurred during the period the government impose Level 4 COVID19 Alert.
For more details visit - here.

Direction : Import
Effective Date : 01/10/2019
Expiry Date : Until further notice
Free time : Calendar day
Currency : NZD
Invoiced : Per container, per calendar day, per container size type

Days 20' DRY 40' / 40'hc 20' Flat & Open top 20' REEF 40' REEF 40' Flat & Open top
1 to 7 free free free free free free
8 to 20 80 160 100 130 260 200
21 onwards 120 240 160 220 440 320

NOR will be charged as DRY equipment

Combined demurrage & detention will be invoiced as detention

Separation of Storage

We will separate Storage from Demurrage. This allows a clear distinction of the compensation applied for utilising the port, terminal or depot facilities (Storage), and the compensation incurred for utilisation of equipment beyond the agreed free time days inside terminals or depots (Demurrage).

Storage means compensation for utilising the port, terminal or depot or inland container yard facilities. Compensation for Storage related to use of Terminal or Depot facilities will be charged separately by New Caledonian ports directly to customers.

Import tariff charges effective 1 January 2017

Maersk introduced the following changes to our New Zealand surcharge structure starting from 1 January 2017.

Customers in New Zealand are offered Combined Demurrage & Detention for both export and import shipments. This means you will have one combined free time period and compensation for utilization of equipment inside and outside of terminals or depots, referred to as Combined Demurrage & Detention.

Demurrage means compensation incurred by customer for utilizing equipment beyond the given free time inside the terminal.

Detention means compensation incurred by customer for utilizing equipment beyond the given free time outside the terminal.

Import tariff charges effective 1 January 2017

  • 7 days free time for Combined Demurrage and Detention (excluding Port Storage)
  • Import free time calculation will commence on the same day of container discharge
  • Tariff is charged 'per day' after Free time expiry
Import Tariff
Combined Demurrage & Detention
Container Type Day 1-7* Day 8 +*
20' Dry Free NZD 80 per day
40' Dry Free NZD 160 per day
20' Reef Free NZD 80 per day
40' Reef Free NZD 160 per day
20' Specialised Free NZD 80 per day
40' Specialised Free NZD 160 per day

* Weekend and Public holidays are included

Separation of Storage

We will separate Storage from Demurrage. This allows a clear distinction of the compensation applied for utilizing the port, terminal or depot facilities (Storage), and the compensation incurred for utilization of equipment beyond the agreed free time days inside terminals or depots (Demurrage).

Storage means compensation for utilizing the port, terminal or depot or inland container yard facilities. We have made arrangements for New Zealand port companies to charge customers directly for Storage compensation


Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI)

Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI) is a merger of two ministries formerly known as the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF) and Ministry of Forestry (MOF).

Fumigation Procedures

Fumigation is a requirement of MPI and New Zealand fumigation procedures are very strict as the country places top priority to protecting the native flora and fauna. Generally, fumigation is required for wood products, high risk outdoor type products, used tyres or any other packaging consisting of low grade timber. If in doubt, the treatment must be performed by a government agency or New Zealand government approved agency.

Maersk New Zealand would recommend that cargo, which has any wooden dunnage/packaging, should be fumigated prior to shipment. 

Quarantine Declaration and BACC 
All cargo must be accompanied by Quarantine Declaration Form and MPI Biosecurity Authorization/ Clearance Certificate (BACC) 12 hours prior to vessel ETA into Auckland. 

Quarantine Declaration 

Standard of cleanliness

Every container must be internally and externally free of contamination by any of the following:

  • Animals, insects or other invertebrates (any life cycle stage), egg casings or rafts, or any organic material or animal origin (including blood, bones, fibre, meat, secretions, excretions, etc).
  • Plants or plant products (including fruit, seeds, leaves, twigs, roots, bark, or other organic material).
  • Soil or water.

Documentation cutoff for importing cargo to New Zealand

Complete documentation for all cargo intended to be discharged at any port in New Zealand must be forwarded to Maersk at least 72 hours before the ship arrives at its first New Zealand port.

New Zealand Customs require a cargo reporting period of at least 48 hours before arrival for all cargo with intended discharge in New Zealand.

In order for Maersk to comply with the deadline for submitting required manifests to Customs, all documentation, including full details for the New Zealand Consignee, for all shipments into New Zealand must be completed at least 72 hours prior ETA voyages likely to take 48 hours or more. If Maersk does not have full details for the New Zealand Consignee, and full details for the shipment within this timeframe, Customs may refuse containers to be discharged at destination port and impose infringement notice on offenders.

It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure compliance with this deadline. Maersk New Zealand will not be held accountable for fines or penalties incurred due to shippers not forwarding complete documentation requirements in a timely manner, and will hold shipper liable for any delay, storage costs, fines or penalties incurred as a result. The strict timeframes reflect the changing nature of the international trade environment, and was enforced to provide better flexibility to respond more promptly to security issues.

Inspection of container

Containers may be inspected internally and externally, on arrival in New Zealand to the degree necessary for an inspector to satisfy him/herself that the containers are free of contamination and that any dunnage or packaging within is free from pests or disease.

Unless otherwise exempted in this standard all containers without the required certification will be inspected internally.

A random 5% of containers covered by quarantine certificates from each port of lading on each manifest at each New Zealand port are to be inspected internally.

External inspection shall be limited to the containers already placed for internal inspection. These require inspection of the four (or accessible) sides only.

Six-sided inspection shall be limited to those containers:

  • From a country where a known high hazard exists (e.g. Giant African Snail ports, Gypsy Moth areas).
  • From the initial inspection an inspector has reason to believe there may be a contamination on top or underneath the container

Inspection shall be carried out under day light conditions. Inspections inside or at night may only take place where artificial lighting provides the equivalent of daylight or adequate lighting for the purpose of inspection.


The costs of inspection and other activities associated with meeting this standard shall be borne by Consignee or Importer.

Other inspection costs that may be levied to the Consignee or Importer may include, but are not limited to:

  • MPI (MAF) washes
  • X-rays
  • Costs incurred when moving the containers to carry out inspections, x-rays, washes etc.



There is no acceptance of 45’ containers into New Zealand. Only 20’ and 40’ containers will be accepted.

Weight and Measurement Limits

The gross road weight limit in New Zealand is 26.0 metric tons, including the container weight.

ROAD: As long as the gross weight is less than 30mt, there is no surcharge. Some of the carriers cannot truck container with gross weight over 30mt.
RAIL: There is overweight surcharge of NZD 62 per container on top of the normal rail rate.

We will not accept a shipment over 30.5mt Gross weight.

Special Cargoes

Maersk does not accept LCL shipments to/from New Zealand.

Due to rail tunnel height, the railing of High Cube containers is subject to confirmation. Please check with your booking agent when using High Cube containers. There is no restriction for the use of high cube containers for road carriage.

Prohibited packing material

  • Soil
  • Peat
  • Raw, green or contaminated moss
  • Used sacking material
  • Hay
  • Straw
  • Chaff


ALL imports (including personal effects / household goods) must be consigned to a registered company or care of a freight forwarder based in New Zealand, they cannot be consigned to an individual. Maersk New Zealand will not invoice or release shipments to individuals.

Transport Restrictions

Following are commodities which cannot move via Rail in New Zealand:

  • Break Bulk (BB)
  • Wheat/Grain
  • IMO (with prior approval only)
  • Out of Gauge (OOG) (with prior approval only)


Contact us

If you want to speak to a sales person about a new shipment or if you have a question about your existing shipment, you can email us and we will respond within the next two days. If you have a more immediate question, you can search for help online.