To import non-prohibited ammunition or prohibited ammunition, you must apply for a permit. Very few people are eligible to apply to import prohibited ammunition.

Importing non-prohibited ammunition

To be eligible to import non-prohibited ammunition, you must have a New Zealand firearms licence and a permit to import.

If you do not apply for a permit before the items arrive in New Zealand

It is an offence to import ammunition without a permit. And, if you do not have a permit to import the ammunition, New Zealand Customs can detain it on arrival.

You must wait until you have a permit to import an item before buying it.

How long the permit lasts

Permits expire 12 months after the date on which that permit was issued.

If you have not used the permit within that 12-month period, you will need to apply for a new one. Permits do not get renewed.

Permits may be revoked

Your permit to import may be revoked at any time by the commissioned officer of Police.

If your permit is revoked, you will be notified in writing and you will no longer be able to use it.

Information you need to provide in your application

In your application, you must provide:

  • your details, including firearms licence number
  • details about what you want to import, and why. 

Importing prohibited ammunition

To import prohibited ammunition, you must be approved by Police under regulation 9J as one of the following:

  • director or curator of a bona fide museum (who may apply to import prohibited ammunition manufactured for small arms only)
  • bona fide collector of ammunition (who may apply to import prohibited ammunition manufactured for small arms only)
  • researcher employed or contracted by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF)
  • researcher employed or contracted by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

Directors or curators of bona fide museums, and bona fide collectors of ammunition must also have a firearms licence.

If you are employed or contracted by NZDF or ESR as a researcher of prohibited ammunition, speak to your employer first about importation and licensing provisions.

The Schedule to the Arms (Prohibited Ammunition) Order 2019 lists and describes the types of prohibited ammunition:  

Schedule, Ammunition declared prohibited ammunition | New Zealand Legislation website

You must also provide a special reason why the prohibited ammunition should be allowed into New Zealand. 

How to apply – non-prohibited ammunition

Step 1: Complete the form

You can either:

  • save the PDF to your computer (you must have a PDF reader installed), or
  • print the PDF and complete it by hand.

Step 2: Submit your application

By email:  

By post: Permit Team, Te Tari Pūreke, PO Box 722, Paraparaumu, Kapiti 5032

In person to a Police station: Find Police stations – New Zealand Police website

Approving or refusing your application

If your application is approved, your permit will be sent to you.

If your application is refused, you’ll be notified in writing, including the reasons your application was refused.

If you’re not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to appeal to the District Court.

You must appeal within 20 working days of the refusal decision (unless the court gives special leave to extend that time). 

After you receive your imported ammunition

You must notify New Zealand Police in writing within 30 days of the item being imported into New Zealand.

Email your notification to  

Information you must include in the email:

  • full name of the applicant
  • address and occupation of the applicant
  • quantity imported
  • the description and country of origin of the item imported
  • the name of the manufacturer of the ammunition
  • the place at which the ammunition was landed in New Zealand
  • date of importation
  • where and when the permit was issued. 

What ammunition components you can import without a permit

You do not need a permit to import ammunition components such as projectiles, empty cartridges, primers, or BBs or airgun pellets. 


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