Key Points:

The United States says it will require New Zealand travellers to register online at least three days before entering the country.

From next year, the USA will require the registration of travellers from countries which do not currently require a visa, including New Zealand.

Intended to bolster US security, the new requirement is due to be officially announced later today by Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, Associated Press reported.

American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand executive director Mike Hearn said the rule could be an inconvenience for a small number of business executives who rely on last-minute flights for deal-clinching face-to-face meetings.

The online registrations will begin in January and will be valid for a two-year period.

Those needing to register will be travellers from New Zealand and the other 26 countries whose citizens are not required to obtain visas for US entry.

The countries include those in most of western Europe as well as Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Japan, and Singapore.

Eight other countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary and South Korea among them - are expected to be admitted to the visa waiver programme.