White tail deer
Image: Laura College | Creative Commons


You may need CITES documentation to enter or leave New Zealand with your hunting trophy.

If the species of your trophy is protected by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) you can't cross international borders without a CITES permit.

So before you travel internationally with a hunting trophy, check if you need CITES documents and get them before you go.

How to check if your trophy is protected by CITES

To find out what documents you need, check if CITES protects the species and, if so, under which CITES appendix.

We recommend you use the scientific name of the species (e.g. Ursus americanus for American black bear). This will ensure you find the right information:

What do to if your trophy is CITES protected

If your hunting trophy is from a species protected under CITES, you will need to apply for a CITES permit to accompany it before you travel.

The documents you need depend on what you want to travel with and which appendix CITES has listed it under.

What to do if your trophy isn't protected

If your trophy isn't from a species protected by CITES, you won’t need a permit to bring it into New Zealand or leave with it. Although you may still need to meet other border requirements such as biosecurity and customs.

We encourage you to check the requirements of New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) for importing/exporting your trophy or hide to/from New Zealand.

To help your travel go smoothly, we recommend you clearly label your trophy with the species name.

Taking a non-CITES hunting trophy from New Zealand

If you’re leaving New Zealand with a non-CITES protected trophy, like white-tailed deer, chamois or tahr, you can download and print a copy of DOC’s non-CITES declaration letter.

You don’t need this letter under New Zealand requirements, but it can help to assure overseas border authorities that your trophy is not from a CITES protected species.

Exporters can also use this letter to accompany products such as fur and meat when sending them overseas.


If you are unsure or need help, contact DOC’s CITES team cites@doc.govt.nz

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