New Zealand Changes Arrival Documents to Digital

The new system will speed up arrival procedures. Passengers can complete required information before leaving home. It will also make recording, storing and tracking information much more easy for NZ authorities.

Here is a summary from Traveltalk

New Zealand will introduce a new digital arrivals process for all travellers entering the country by air or sea from next month, enabling a faster and more efficient border control process and allow better information sharing among departments.

From 10 July 2023, the printed travel declaration card normally completed on the plane or prior to reaching the border will be phased out and replaced with an online process where travellers must complete all of their Customs, Immigration and Biosecurity formalities prior to departure, along with their COVID-19 health declaration.

Wellington and Christchurch will be the first two cities to formally launch the New Zealand Travel Declaration (NZTD), with Queenstown following later in July and Auckland towards the end of August.

Once operational, travellers will not be permitted to check-in for their flight to New Zealand until they have completed the NZTD process, which will also conduct eligibility checks to determine whether the traveller has the right to enter the country.

The new online portal, once operational, will be available here.

The system will make it easier for travellers to comply with differing rules across various government border agencies while enabling a faster yet more secure border process.

For a short period while the new system is bedded down, the paper arrivals form will continue to be available for travellers unable to access the online portal prior to departure.

New Zealand Customs Minister Jo Luxton said the legislation enabling the new digital arrivals process will modernise Aotearoa New Zealand’s border. “As passenger volumes increase, it’s important that our border processes are as efficient as possible to support a positive traveller experience while also helping to make our border safer and smarter,” Minister Luxton said.

“Customs has an important role at our border. These changes will help frontline Customs officers identify risks more quickly and efficiently, and better enforce the requirements to keep New Zealand and New Zealanders safe.”

How will the new process work?

In the first phase of the roll-out, travellers completing the NZTD will be issued with a Traveller Pass which must be presented to airline check-in staff and border officials for manual checking.

It isn’t clear yet whether this Traveller Pass can be presented on a phone or mobile device or if a printed version must be submitted or surrendered.

Family and friends can complete declarations on behalf of others, such as families with children or groups travelling together.

Future phases of the rollout will see a mobile app introduced, providing travellers with a QR code to present to border officials which will also be valid for multiple entries over a predetermined length of time.

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