Which goods are controlled?

Your goods, software and technology are controlled if they are listed on the New Zealand Strategic Goods Lists or if they are subject to catch-all provisions.

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New Zealand Strategic Goods List

The goods on the Strategic Goods List are derived from the control lists produced by the four export control regimes New Zealand belongs to - the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.

The Strategic Goods List includes military and dual-use goods and technology.

Updates to the Strategic Goods List

The New Zealand Strategic Goods List was last updated on 26 November 2021. 

The explanatory statement of the amendments reflects changes made to the list since it was last updated in September 2019.

What are dual-use goods?

Dual-use goods are goods and technologies developed for commercial purposes, but which may be used either as military components or for the development or production of military systems or weapons of mass destruction.

What is 'technology'?

'Technology' means specific information or software necessary for the development, production or use of a product. This information takes the form of ‘technical data’ or ‘technical assistance’. ‘Technical assistance’ may take the form of: 

  • instruction
  • skills
  • training working knowledge, and
  • consulting services and may involve the transfer of ‘technical data’. 

‘Technical data’ may be:

  • blueprints
  • plans
  • diagrams
  • models
  • formulae
  • tables
  • engineering designs and specifications
  • manuals and instructions written or recorded on other media or devices such as cds, tape, read-only memories (ROM).

Catch-all provisions

The export of goods, software and technologies which are not listed in the New Zealand Strategic Goods List, but which may be intended for use relating, directly or indirectly, to any or all of the provisions outlined below are prohibited unless a permit to export is obtained from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The scope of the catch-all provisions has been expanded. Limiting the scope of our catch-all controls to those few countries under a UN arms embargo is no longer sufficient to manage the risks from exports to military and police users in a wider set of countries of concern. Therefore a risk exists that goods or technology exported from New Zealand to a military or police end-user might contribute to a conflict, or human rights violations, support repressive regimes, or increase the capability of a state which is challenging our security interests. Failing to regulate exports in these cases poses security, political or reputational risks to New Zealand and its international relationships.

These changes represent a significant step forward in meeting current proliferation challenges facing New Zealand and demonstrate the Government’s commitment to peace, security and human rights.

The Catch-all control provisions are given effect through a Gazette Notice with an entry into force date of 9 October 2020.

The Gazette Notice:

  • Carries over the existing prohibition on the export of items with an end-use related to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
  • Establishes a new prohibition on items for use in terrorist acts, as provided for in the Act.
  • Carries forward the existing prohibition on items for military end-use, but removes the caveat that it only apply to countries under a UN arms embargo.
  • Extends military end-use controls to items which “materially enable or support operations or functions of a military or internal security nature”.
  • Applies controls to all countries and products.
  • Provides exemptions for exporters from needing to seek permits for low-risk countries and products; for goods supplied under government assistance programmes; and for parts, components and replacement items (unless incorporated into weapons or used for the production, maintenance or testing of weapons).
  • Provides transition timeframes for the entry into effect of some controls to meet industry and research sector concerns.

Exporters have a statutory obligation to inform the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, via the Export Controls Office, if they are aware, or should reasonably be aware, that an export is intended for or may have any of the listed prohibited uses described above.

How do I determine if my goods are controlled?


In the first instance, you should self-assess your goods against the New Zealand Strategic Goods List. Then you must also assess the end use to determine whether the goods fall under the Catch-all provisions.

The parameters in the list are often very technical and you and your organisation may be best placed to self-assess, as you are most likely to have the detailed specifications and technical expertise.

Strategic goods identification tool

The Australian Department of Defence, Defence Export Controls, has developed and is supportive of New Zealand to use, an online search tool which can be used to identify if your goods are controlled.

The New Zealand Strategic Goods List is derived from the Australian list. There are some minor differences.

Each has a national section relating to non-military firearms and explosives (ML901-ML910). New Zealand also uses Category 0C001 and 0C002.

These aside, the online search tool is useful to identify controlled goods, particularly the more technical dual-use goods (Category 0-10).

If you cannot find your goods on the list contact us to confirm that a permit is not required. 

Australian Department of Defence online search tool(external link)

Contact the Export Controls Office

Goods of foreign origin

If your goods are of foreign origin you should check to see if they were controlled and required a permit to be exported to New Zealand.

As a general rule of thumb, if they required a permit to be exported here then they will need a New Zealand permit to be re-exported.

Even if you don’t have any documentation yourself, you should still check with the exporter that provided you with the goods (Note: not all goods come with an end-user certificate and hence you may be unaware if they were controlled by the original exporting country).

The original exporter may also have a determination from the export controls agency of that country that the goods are not controlled.

Getting help

You can ask for a determination as to whether your goods are controlled from the Export Controls Office.

Please note that we don't have the range of scientific and technical expertise that’s required to cover the entire scope of the Strategic Goods List.

When we aren't' able to make a determination from using the knowledge we have we will seek assistance from other agencies. This can necessarily take some time.

Contact the Export Controls Office 

What exemptions are there?

There are some situations where you may export strategic goods without a permit from MFAT. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued exemptions for the export of certain strategic goods without the need for a permit.

However, if you are exempt from a permit to export you are still required to notify Export Controls, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the firearm(s) you will be exporting plus any ammunition. 

This is to enable New Zealand reporting as required under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and will only be used for that purpose. 

Use the form below to notify the Ministry of exempted firearms you will be exporting.

(I) Approvals for private individuals to export certain firearms and ammunition

With the exception of the countries listed below, you may export up to five sporting firearms and ammunition without a permit from MFAT if:

a) you are taking your own sporting firearms overseas on a hunting holiday; or

b) you are a competitor in international shooting contests taking competition sporting firearms overseas for your own use; or

c) tourist exports - this exemption no longer applies to firearms purchased by tourists and a permit must now be applied for

d) you have been in New Zealand on a hunting holiday you may export your firearms and/or parts that you originally imported with a permit issued by the New Zealand Police; or

e) you have been in New Zealand competing in a national or international shooting competition, or you are transiting New Zealand to attend or return from a competition in a third country you may export your firearms and/or parts which you originally imported with a permit issued by the New Zealand Police; and

f) you are exporting firearms covered by (a) to (e) above you may export-related ammunition and/or used cartridges. The ammunition/used cartridges must accompany the firearms (this approval does not permit the export of ammunition on its own).


  • Specialised competition semi-automatic pistols are classified as sporting firearms and are therefore exempt.

Countries not covered by exemptions to export here

The exemption to export does not apply to firearms being exported to the following countries:

American Samoa Micronesia (Federated States of) Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Cook Islands  New Caledonia Tokelau
Fiji Niue Tonga
French Polynesia Palau Tuvalu
Guam Papua New Guinea Vanuatu
Kiribati Samoa Wallis and Futuna
Marshall Islands Solomon Islands  

(II) New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry of Defence, New Zealand Police and Visiting Forces

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Ministry of Defence (MoD), The New Zealand Police and Visiting Forces (as defined by the Visiting Forces Act 2004) may export the following without a permit from MFAT:

a) stores, equipment, ammunition and explosives for overseas activities in the course of which they may either be consumed, written off, disposed of (subject to meeting end user obligations), or subsequently returned to New Zealand

b) stores, equipment, ammunition and explosives of a Visiting Force

c) equipment/parts for repair, servicing or upgrade, and subsequent return to New Zealand (e.g. ships, vehicles, aircraft, weapons, electronic equipment and their parts).

Note re contractors: with respect to (c) above, NZDF, MoD and NZ Police-owned equipment/parts being exported for repair, servicing or upgrade, and subsequent return to New Zealand, may be exported without a permit from MFAT by a contractor on behalf of, or in the course of providing services to, those organisations.

(III) New Zealand government officials

New Zealand Government officials may temporarily export secure GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) cellular telephones, PDAs (personal digital assistants) and encrypted laptops without a permit from MFAT. These items must be personally carried outside New Zealand by the officials and must be for their own use on official travel.

(IV) Vintage military aircraft

Vintage military aircraft manufactured in or before 1950 may be exported without a permit from MFAT.

Note: Export permits are not required for “Civil aircraft” (including helicopters) as specified in the New Zealand Strategic Good List Definition of Terms, that is – “those 'aircraft' listed by designation in published airworthiness certification lists by the civil aviation authorities to fly commercial civil internal and external routes or for legitimate civil, private or business use”.

(V) Ammunition belonging to a Collector

Members of the New Zealand Cartridge Collectors Club (NZCCC) may export ammunition from New Zealand without a permit from MFAT for exhibition purposes where the combined weight of that ammunition does not exceed five kilograms, and is being exported as accompanied baggage of that member. It is understood that some ammunition may be sold or traded through individual non-commercial sales while the NZCCC member is abroad.
Members of the Australian Cartridge Collectors Association (ACCA) following their attendance at conferences, exhibitions, swap-meets, etc. in New Zealand may export ammunition from New Zealand without a permit from MFAT for exhibition purposes where the combined weight of that ammunition does not exceed five kilograms, and is being exported as accompanied baggage of that member.

(VI) Firearms on visiting vessels

Firearms on visiting vessels which have been surrendered to the Police for safekeeping for the duration of the visit, or have been approved by the Police for secure storage on-board, may be exported without a permit from MFAT.
Firearms transiting New Zealand on vessels which are intended for sale at a subsequent destination are not exempt from the requirement for an export permit, i.e. those firearms in excess of those retained on-board for legitimate security purposes or being transported as part of a commercial shipment.


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