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Rules & regulations

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Bringing Fishing Gear Into New Zealand

Reason for controls To slow the spread of the invasive alga didymo, in New Zealand waterways, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand requires all used freshwater fishing equipment brought into New Zealand to be clean and dry.
Declaring equipment on arrival

When you enter New Zealand you must declare all freshwater activity equipment on your Passenger Arrival Card and to a Quarantine Inspector. This includes all fishing equipment such as rods, reels, tackle boxes, nets, boots, waders, fishing flies and any feathers or other non-artificial material used for fly tying.

As you are going through Customs, your fishing equipment will be inspected and if MAF inspectors are not satisfied that the gear is clean and dry, they will arrange for the equipment to be treated (which takes time and is likely to be inconvenient) before giving it biosecurity clearance.

Felt-soled boots

MAFBNZ staff are required to treat all used freshwater fishing equipment they determine or suspect is not completely dry inside and out, regardless of whether it has been cleaned before coming to New Zealand. Felt-soled waders and boots are of particular concern. To avoid inconvenience, anglers coming to New Zealand should bring rubber-soled footwear to use instead of felt-soled.

Replace your felt-soled boots

Banned felt-soled boots

Cleaning standards

All freshwater fishing equipment including rods, reels, tackle boxes, nets and waders should be clean and free of organic residue. These items must comply with the conditions of the Import Health Standard for Equipment Associated with Animals or Water.

See the MAF Biosecurity website for cleaning instructions.

What anglers can do to prevent didymo

Flies Fishing flies are permitted entry but all non-artificial material for fly tying must comply with the conditions of the Import Health Standard for Feathers.
More information

Please refer to the MAF Biosecurity website for full details about restrictions on camping, fishing and water equipment.

See the Biosecurity New Zealand web site for more details about didymo.


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