Travellers entering New Zealand will no longer have to declare their personal medicines on a revamped passenger arrival card.

Customs Minister Kris Faafoi said a new version of the card would come into effect from October 1, in line with recent legal changes.

The current version asks travellers whether they are bringing into New Zealand "prohibited or restricted goods, for example medicines, weapons, indecent publications, endangered species of flora or fauna, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia".

The new version will make it clear that the travellers' personal medicines are exempt.


"When crossing New Zealand's border, travellers can carry prescription medicines or controlled drugs provided they:

• Have a prescription or letter from their doctor;

• Carry the medicines or drugs in their original containers;

• Only carry up to three months' supply of prescription medicines; or

• Only carry up to one month's supply of a controlled drug," Faafoi said.

"The medicines that are of interest to Customs are:

• More than three months' supply of a prescription medicine;

• Medicines that are controlled drugs;


• Prescription medicines carried on behalf of other people or entities;

• Medicines containing items of endangered plants or wildlife."

The current version of the card will continue to be accepted by Customs during October, and the majority of travellers are expected to be using the new card by November.

The Government announced last month that departure cards would be scrapped completely from November.

Former Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri said departure cards were no longer needed for their original purpose - accounting for passengers crossing the border.

"We have smarter systems now that capture passenger identity information and travel movement records electronically," she said.

"Information captured by the departure cards is now mainly used for statistical purposes. Stats NZ has developed an alternative way to produce migration and tourism statistics, based on actual movements rather than passengers' stated intentions on the departure cards."

Australia removed its departure cards last year. New Zealand is now one of just a handful of countries which still require travellers to fill out such forms.