Import pets and animals

You must clear your pets through Customs when they arrive in the country.

Import pets and animals

Import pets and animals

Prohibited pets

Some animals aren’t allowed in the Cook Islands. You can’t bring in:

  • live birds
  • ferrets
  • guinea pigs
  • mice and rats
  • snakes and other reptiles.

You also can’t bring in dogs if they’re:

  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario.

If you aren’t sure whether you can bring your pet into the Cooks, check with the Cook Islands Police Department (CIPD).

Required documents

  • Biosecurity clearance (MoA)
  • An invoice or receipt showing how much your pet is worth. If you didn’t pay for your pet, we need something to show their value
  • An air waybill or Bill of lading to show how you’re transporting your pet to the Cook Islands and how much it’s costing
  • Any extra required information, including vaccinations certificates and evidence you own the pet
  • Personal photo identification, eg a passport or driver’s license
  • A completed CICS 057: Imported Animal Clearance Form (DOC 252 KB).

If you’re clearing a pet on behalf of their owner, you must have:

  • a signed letter from the owner, giving you permission to clear their pet(s) on their behalf
  • a copy of the owner’s photo identification
  • if the owner isn’t in the Cooks, a copy of their eTicket to the Cook Islands.

If you’re clearing a dog (or a dog embryo, ova or semen), you must have:

  • evidence that you’ve registered the dog in the Cook Islands (done with the CI Police), or
  • a statutory declaration on Form 15: Declaration advising dog is not a prohibited breed (DOC 227 KB) – from a registered vet in the country of export
  • any other documents required by the Import Health Standard (PDF 334 KB).

Charges when importing animals

We may charge VAT on your pet(s) if they:

  • were purchased online and are worth NZ$100 or more (including any shipping costs)
  • were sent as a gift.

We may also charge you an import transaction fee.

Concessions on imported pets

If you're moving here for the first time or returning after more than 3 years away you may not have to pay VAT and other charges if you can prove you have the right to live in the Cook Islands and that you’ve owned and personally cared for the animals prior to their arrival in to the Cook Islands for a minimum of 12 months. However, a transaction fee of $23.00 will apply for this animal to be imported.

Getting a clearance

If you’re bringing an animal in as a pet, you can get clearance from the main Customs office in Rarotonga. You need to arrange clearance with a Customs broker

International airlines are only transporting animals to the Cook Island’s main Rarotonga International airport.

Bringing in pet(s)

You may be able to bring your pet with you. They must meet specific health and quarantine standards, and you might need a permit.

Some species and dog breeds (Police Department) aren’t allowed in the Cook Islands.