Rules / Regulations

There are various rules and regulations that you will need to be aware of to ensure that your travel experience is as smooth as possible.  Click on the topics below to find out more information.

  • Luggage

    Luggage allowances vary by airline. To find out your exact baggage allowance contact your airline directly.

  • Powders, liquids, aerosols and gels

    There are restrictions on the amount of powders, liquids, aerosols, and gels you can take in your carry-on luggage.

    If you have less than 350ml of inorganic powder like salt, talcum powder, or sand, it can stay in your bag. If the total volume exceeds 350ml, it must be carried in your checked luggage, unless for a child or medical reasons - in which case it will be inspected.

    Unlike liquids, the powders do not need to be put in a resealable plastic bag.


    The quantity of powders, liquids, aerosols and gels passengers can carry on board international flights are restricted. The restrictions:

    - apply only to carry-on luggage for international flights
    - do not apply to domestic flights
    - do not apply to checked luggage for international flights.


    The restrictions limit the volume of liquids, aerosols, and gels carried by a single passenger on an international flight:

    - To individual containers of 100ml or less. This restriction applies to the size of the container and not its content.  If a container is larger than 100ml and the content is less than 100ml, the item will still be prohibited.

    - The total number of containers that are 100ml or less must not exceed one volumetric litre.  Passengers should present all the liquids, aerosols, and gels in a single re-sealable 20cm by 20cm [one volumetric litre] plastic bag. Any excess will not be allowed onto the aircraft. 


    The total volume of inorganic powders must not exceed 350 millilitres, or 350 grams per person, or the approximate size of an average can of soda.

    Powder is defined as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance (for example, flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk, baby formula or cosmetics). Powders may also be presented in clumpy, grain, or compressed material forms.

    Inorganic powder means a powder or a similar granular substance that does not consist of and is not derived from, living matter Examples include but are not limited to:

    - salt scrub
    - bath bombs
    - sand
    - some talcum powders
    - some powdered deodorant
    - certain foot powders
    - some cosmetics (both compressed and loose powders) dependent on the brand
    - some powdered detergent and cleaning products dependent on the brand

    It may not be obvious that some items contain inorganic granular material, such as:

    - the fill (i.e. stuffing) of some toys and souvenirs
    - body powders (e.g. talcum powder, foot powders and powdered deodorants)
    - laundry powders and other powdered cleansers
    - dietary supplements (e.g. minerals or vitamins).

    These restrictions are strictly applied. Aviation security officers have the final say if there is any doubt about what items can be carried on board.

    Exemptions: Please read in detail below those items that are exempt from the 350ml limit. This includes items such as baby powder or formula for those travelling with a young child, cremated human remains, therapeutic products and medicines that are exempt from these restrictions. 

    For more information visit

  • Batteries and Power Banks

    Some types of batteries can't be taken onto planes because there are risks with them exploding, catching fire, leaking acid or caustic chemicals, harming people and property.  

    Portable power banks are not permitted in checked luggage. Please place them in your carry-on luggage. 

    To find out more visit the Aviation Security Service website. 

  • Check-in Times

    Allow at least 40 minutes for domestic flights and 2-3 hours for international flights when checking-in.  For more specific information regarding check-in, contact your airline directly. 

  • Departure Charge for International Flights

    You no longer need to pay a a separate departure charge at Christchurch Airport. NZ$12.50 will be applied to each international arrival and departure as part of the airfare costs.

  • Duty Free Allowances


    • Goods obtained overseas and/or purchased duty free in New Zealand with a total combined value of not more than NZ$700 (excluding clothing, toiletries and jewellery intended for your own personal use and not for gift, sale, or exchange); and if you are 17 years of age or over,
    • 3 bottles (or containers), each containing not more than 1125ml, of spirits, liqueur, or other spirituous beverages; and
    • 4.5 litres of wine or 4.5 litres of beer (this is the equivalent of six 750ml bottles);and
    • 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars or a mixture of all three not weighing more than 50 grams.

    Full Customs charges are payable on goods which are not eligible for concession or are in excess of the allowance.  If the duty and/or GST payable is less than NZ$50, no collection will be made. However, this does not apply to tobacco products or alcoholic beverages.  If you exceed your concession in relation to tobacco products or alcoholic beverages duty and GST is payable regardless of the amount.


  • Passports and Visas

    Please check the Immigration New Zealand website for more information about the visa requirements for visiting New Zealand.

  • Biosecurity Regulations for International Arrivals

    When you fly to New Zealand from overseas, it's important to follow New Zealand law. That means when you arrive at a New Zealand border you must fill out a Passenger Arrival Card and declare or dispose of biosecurity risk goods. Your arrival card and declared risk goods will be inspected by a MAF Biosecurity inspector. Your bags may be sniffed by detector dogs, x-rayed or searched.  


    • Any food:  including cooked, uncooked, fresh, preserved, packaged or dried  
    • Animals or animal products:  including meat, dairy products, fish, honey, bee products, eggs, feathers, shells, raw wool, skins, bones or insects  
    • Plants or plant products:  including fruit, vegetables, leaves, nuts, parts of plants, flowers, seeds, bulbs, fungi, cane, bamboo, wood or straw  


    • Traditional or herbal medicines or remedies, animal medicines, biological cultures, organisms, soil or water  
    • Any equipment used with animals, plants or water, including for beekeeping, fishing, water sport or diving activities  
    • Any items with soil attached, outdoor sport or hiking footwear and tents  

    If you fail to declare biosecurity risk goods on your Passenger Arrival Card, you could face a $400 instant fine or be prosecuted. For more detailed and the most up-to-date information please visit

    Brown marmorated stink bug - check bags when unpacking

    Biosecurity New Zealand needs your help to keep watch for the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) which could attack a wide range of New Zealand crops and infest local homes.

    BMSB has spread from Asia to North America and through Europe. It's not in New Zealand yet, and we want to keep it that way.

    If arriving from Asia, North America, or Europe (in particular Italy) please let biosecurity staff know. And when unpacking your bags after your arrival please take care and look for BMSB. If you find any bugs or insects in your luggage, catch it, take a photo and call Biosecurity New Zealand's pest hotline: 0800 80 99 66.

    For more information (including how to identify BMSB)visit

  • Is smoking or vaping allowed at the airport?

    Christchurch Airport has a clear air policy. For everyone's comfort, smoking - including e-cigarettes, vaping and similar products - is not permitted in the terminal or plaza area, but only in designated spaces. We have two designated areas outside the terminal building where you can smoke or vape.