Which permit do I need?

New Zealand issues two types of permit or consent to export strategic goods: a Standard export permit and a General consent. If you’re unsure which permit you need, or wish to discuss whether a General consent would be appropriate, contact Export Controls at MFAT on +64 (0)4 439 8227.

Standard export permits

A Standard permit is issued for a fixed quantity of specified items to one specific end-user. There are three types of Standard permits: single, single temporary and multiple.

Single permit

Single export permits are issued for the permanent export of a fixed quantity of specified items in a single shipment. The permit is valid for a three month window from the intended date of export.

Common scenarios:

  • export of firearms
  • bulk shipment of commercial explosives.

Single temporary permit

Temporary export permits are issued for goods temporarily leaving New Zealand with the intention of return to the owner. Generally the export item will be in the care of the owner (sales representative, firearm owner etc), although items may be exported for the purposes of trial or repair by a third party. The permit is valid for a three month window from the intended date of export.

Common scenarios:

  • taking weapons overseas for a competition or recreational use
  • salesperson taking product samples for viewing by potential offshore clients or to a trade exhibition
  • samples sent to a potential offshore customer for trial.

A condition of a temporary permit is that MFAT Export Controls is notified when the goods have been returned to New Zealand.

Multiple permit

Multiple export permits are issued for the export of a fixed quantity of controlled items that will be exported in several shipments over an extended period up to 18 months in duration. However, exporters must provide information to the MFAT on the amounts of goods exported under the Multiple consent, according to a set six-monthly reporting timetable.

General consents

An exporter may apply for a General consent to export specific listed items to a country or countries. For Wassenaar member countries (external link), this gives approval to the exporter to export any volume of the specified products to any end-user in the approved countries over a period of up to 18 months. Normally General consents are only granted for Wassenaar member countries, but applications will be considered for non-Wassenaar countries. In these cases the end user must be specified.

If approval is given for a non-Wassenaar member country, this gives approval to the exporter to export any volume of the specified products to any specified end-user in the approved country over a period of up to 18 months. 

However, every six months exporters must provide information to MFAT on the types and amount of goods exported, and the end-users who have received items under the General consent. In certain cases MFAT may waive the reporting requirement and instead require that records be kept

General consents are available for:

  • items deemed to be of low risk
  • exporters with a business case that justifies the use of a General consent
  • destination countries which are members of the relevant export control regime, and where the end-user is not specified
  • certain destination countries which are not members of the relevant export control regime, and where the end-user is specified
  • a period of 18 months.

The refusal to grant a General consent for a particular country doesn’t indicate that MFAT won’t allow exports of a particular item to that country; only that we need to examine each application individually. The exporter can still apply for a standard export licence to a specific end-user.

How do I apply?

Applying for a Standard permit

Use the Standard permit application form. Send your completed form to the Export Controls Office at MFAT, attaching any supporting documentation.

Points to note:

  • you must specify the nature and exact quantity and value of the export item
  • you must provide details of the end-user and end-use
  • the end-user and end-use will be assessed in advance of an export permit being issued against the Assessment Criteria, some exemptions exist for certain items.

Send your application to the Export controls office.

Applying for a General consent

Use the General consent application form. Send your completed form to the Export Controls Office at MFAT, attaching any supporting documentation.

Points to note:

  • General consents are not normally approved for destination countries that are not a member of an appropriate export control regime, but that does not preclude an application being made for such a destination
  • where a General consent is sought for a destination country that is not a member of an appropriate export control regime, the specific end-user/end-users in that country must be identified, and the end-user and end-use will be assessed against the criteria in advance of an export permit being issued. 

Send your application to the Export controls office.

Do I need any other documents?

When applying for approval to export controlled goods and technologies, you may be required to provide supporting documentation depending on the goods being exported:

  • end-user certificates for New Zealand manufactured military list goods 
  • end-user certificates for New Zealand manufactured dual-use goods
  • foreign government approval for the re-export of their controlled goods or technology if this is a foreign end-user certificate requirement
  • evidence of import authority for firearms being exported to Pacific countries
  • Chemicals listed under Schedule 3 of the Chemical Weapons Convention require similar end-user certification when exported to states not party to the convention, as well as an assurance that these will not be subsequently transferred onward.

New Zealand end user certificate goods

Goods that are manufactured in New Zealand will in most cases require an end-user certificate signed by the ultimate end-user. MFAT may be willing to waive this requirement when the goods are:

  • components to be incorporated into a larger piece of equipment in the destination country
  • sporting/hunting weapons, or
  • being re-exported specifically for on-sale through a distributor
  • if you are unsure, contact us

Send your application to MFAT's Export Controls Office

Other permit information

How long will it take and does it cost?

MFAT is conscious that exporters and importers require quick and clear decisions. You can help MFAT to provide a fast response to your application by ensuring that all the required information is supplied and that it’s accurate.

MFAT aims to process routine applications for Standard permits within 10 working days. General consents, and non-routine applications (applications where the destination country is potentially problematic) may take up to six weeks or longer. Early contact with MFAT is advised.

There is no charge for a permit.

Amendment and renewal procedures

You can request to amend a current Standard permit or a current General permit, by emailing the request to exportcontrols@mfat.co.nz and attaching a copy of the original to be amended.

If a Standard or General permit’s validity has expired, it must be renewed by submitting a new application.

Using your Standard export permit or General consent

A copy of your export permit should be presented to the New Zealand Customs Service or provided to the freight forwarder when the Customs export entry for the goods is lodged. In addition, each permit has a permit number which must be entered into the permit information field on the Customs export entry.


As noted above, for General consents, where exporters are not required to provide six-monthly reports, then they must keep records for each shipment as follows:

  1. the name and address of the end-user
  2. the name and address of the intermediate consignee, if there is one
  3. the date of shipment of the goods
  4. the number and description of items exported

Import certification, end-user re-export requirements, and transit through other countries.

Import certification

The import of foreign technology is often subject to written assurances, usually in the form of end-user certificates, which state that goods will not be transferred, re-exported, sold or otherwise disposed of without the permission of the foreign government. Obtaining such approval from the foreign government is often a lengthy process.

New Zealand government recognition of the import may also be required to be entered on the foreign end-user certificate. The MFAT Export Controls Office will undertake this certification for you.

International Import Certificates

In addition to end-user certificates some foreign governments also require the New Zealand importer to obtain an International Import Certificate (IIC).

The IIC form can be downloaded here [DOCX, 53 KB]. Post a completed copy of the completed IIC form and a self-addressed return envelope to the MFAT Export Controls Office which will undertake the certificate validation for you.

Re-export of controlled goods – third country clearances

New Zealand is obliged to not permit the re-export of foreign goods and technology that are subject to foreign end-user transfer controls, unless:

  • the end-user certificate states the destination is permitted for re-export, or
  • the written approval of the country of origin has been obtained.

Internal New Zealand transfers

Many end-user certificates require the permission of the originating country for the internal transfer of their goods and technology within New Zealand. Such internal transfers are not a function or responsibility of the Export Controls Office. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that they have the necessary permissions from the country of origin and that the new owner has the transfer documentation. The new owner should have a modified or new end-user certificate. 

Failure to comply with foreign internal transfer requirements could affect obtaining country of origin approval to re-export items, and consequently New Zealand re-export approval.

Transit and transhipment of exports through intermediate countries

Like New Zealand, many countries also control the transit or transhipment of controlled goods through their territory. A New Zealand export permit will not guarantee the passage of goods through another country. An export permit could therefore be required from the intermediate country through which the transit or transhipment is taking place. Often these take longer to approve than they do in New Zealand. Exporters need to be aware of this, and plan their delivery schedules accordingly.

Questions about export permits and application procedures should be directed to the export controls agencies in the intermediate country.

Special considerations

Should you apply for a permit for any of the goods and technologies described in this section, the Export Controls Office will liaise with you concerning any additional requirements you or the New Zealand government will be required to fulfil to enable their transfer.

Sensitive and very sensitive dual-use goods

Some dual-use goods are considered to be more sensitive than others and therefore great care must be exercised in the transfer of these goods. There is a ‘sensitive list’ and a 'very sensitive list' of such goods. Both of these lists can be found at the end of Part 2 of the New Zealand Strategic Goods List. General consents are usually not available for the export of goods on these lists.

New Zealand Strategic Goods List [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Missile-related goods

Particular restraint will be exercised when considering applications to export any missile or missile related items on the Strategic Goods List, if the New Zealand Government judges that they could be diverted to be used for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction, ie non-peaceful uses. It is very likely applications for such exports will be denied. In addition to a New Zealand export permit, these exports may need to take place under international safeguards.

Nuclear-related goods

The export of nuclear-related goods must take place under appropriate international safeguards.

Brokering - new controls in New Zealand

Brokering involves negotiating or arranging a transaction that takes place fully outside New Zealand, that involves the supply of Strategic Goods in exchange for some form of benefit, whether financial or otherwise. It doesn’t include imports to, and exports from, New Zealand because these are already covered by existing export and import controls.

The New Zealand Government is currently developing legislative controls on the brokering of all goods included in the New Zealand Strategic Goods List. The intention is for these controls to be introduced in 2016.

Why are we doing this?

New Zealand is obliged to introduce controls on brokering under the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. The Treaty recognises that brokers are often used to facilitate legitimate arms deals, but that unregulated brokering can assist the illicit movement of arms and military equipment to illegitimate users or destinations, including countries under UN arms embargo and conflict zones. To inhibit such illicit movement, the treaty requires parties to take measures to regulate the brokering of arms.

More information about the treaty and its requirements (external link)

The first step: interim voluntary registration scheme

As an interim step, MFAT is now calling for anyone or entity based in New Zealand that is, has or intends to undertake brokering to register with MFAT using this registration form

To register, you must supply your name and contact details. MFAT would also welcome any information you can give us about previous or current brokering activities you are or have been involved in. If you register you will be kept informed of how brokering controls develop in New Zealand. 


Standard Permit - Application for Strategic Goods Export [XLS, 69 KB]
(Use this application form for a single, single temporary or multiple export permit. A Standard permit is issued for a fixed quantity of specified items to one specific end user.)

Application for a General Consent [XLS, 66 KB] 
(Use this form when applying for exports of any volume of specific listed items to listed destination countries). 

End-User and Non-Retransfer Certificate (Munitions List) (1) [XLS, 67 KB]
(Use this form when providing certification for munitions list goods made in New Zealand).

End-User Certificate (Dual-Use Goods) (2) [XLS, 69 KB]
(Use this form when providing certification for dual-use goods made in New Zealand).

Notification of sporting/competition firearms exports [DOC, 77 KB]

New Zealand Broker Registration Form [XLS, 55 KB] 

International Import Certificate (IIC)