Pacific Ocean

Lotus: Bound for New Zealand

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Who:                          Elodie and Julien, Violette and Lilas

Where:                        New Zealand

Multihull:                   Privilège 465


At least 48 hours before arriving you need to send by internet the so-called “advance notice of arrival (small craft)” document. Upon arrival in the territorial waters we then had to contact the Customs on VHF 16 (marine radio) to inform them of our imminent arrival at the quarantine dock (in our case at Opua). We only had to fill in the same small cards as airline passengers and not the NzeTA which is a new formality resembling the American ESTA. It costs NZ$35 and needs to be filled in and sent via internet before your journey. Even though you are required to present the last antifouling invoice, an official did check out our hull with an underwater camera attached to a pole. We had given the hull a good scrub at Minerva Reef. You need to show special attention to the propellers which are very closely inspected. All your trash is collected in a large transparent bag. They do appreciate it if you separate the items, and we even went to throw away what we could in recycling bins. Fruit, fresh vegetables, eggs and meat had to be thrown away. Fish is allowed though. Dairy products, jelly and butter aren’t a problem. We were also allowed to keep any grains such as sesame or chia seeds and linseed. Any dry legumes (beans, lentils) had to go unless they were in their original packaging. All types of canned foods are allowed and foie gras too. Each adult has a quota of 3 bottles of liquor. As far as non-edible things were concerned, we were allowed to keep any shells that we had collected on beaches. Coral was only tolerated as long as it stayed on the boat. Any live plants, seeds and any woven leaves that were still green had to go. Anything that was dry could stay. Walking shoes and vacuum cleaners need to be clean. We were also asked if we had any pests on board such as cockroaches or ants… In the end everything was completed in under an hour and the officials were welcoming and professional. They did not search the boat from top to bottom, only the areas where food was stored such as the refrigerator and freezer, with a quick check elsewhere. Of course, a cruising family probably doesn’t worry the Customs too much. A few days later we received the “border clearance levy invoice” by email. There was NZ$68.68 to pay by internet.   

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