Why do we have Export Controls?

Export Controls are an essential element of New Zealand's non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament policies, and of our commitment to being a responsible exporter.

In particular, New Zealand's export control system is a significant thread in our commitment to restricting the ability of countries or terrorist groups to develop weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent the transfer of conventional weapons for undesirable purposes.

The legal basis 

The export and import of all controlled chemicals. the export of strategic goods (military and dual use), and exports that are covered by catch-all controls, are prohibited under the Customs and Excise Act 2018(external link)(external link), unless a permit has been obtained from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

New Zealand's system of export controls (our export control regime), is designed to ensure that such trades are consistent with our wider foreign, strategic and security policy. 

New Zealand's international obligations

New Zealand is a member of the four international export control regimes and the Arms Trade Treaty. These form the basis of our own export control regime:

Recent History of New Zealand's Export Controls regime




  • A review of New Zealand’s export controls regime for military and dual-use goods and technology was carried out, producing the report below:


  • The Catch-all provisions were given effect through a Gazette Notice:


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