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Customs Airport

Ensuring security of our border by facilitating the lawful movement of travelers and goods.

The Cook Islands Customs Service has a small-dedicated team who operates at the Rarotonga International Airport, a Customs Main activity for Customs Airport Team:

  • Processing of arriving and departing international (commercial & private), military, medical and other types of flights;

  • Facilitating movement of travelers and goods at the border;

  • Collecting revenue.


Advanced Notice of Arrival – Aircraft

All arriving international flights must give Customs advice notice of flight arrival - (Section 24 – Customs Revenue and Border Protection Act 2012).

Customs Revenue and Border Protection Regulations 2012 - Regulation 17: Period of advance notice of arrival

For the purposes of section 24(1) (a) of the Act, the period of advance notice required to be given is— “…(b) in the case of an aircraft, not less than 3 hours before the estimated time of arrival of the aircraft in the Cook Islands”.

Advice of arrival: The person in charge of a craft that is en route to the Cook Islands from a point outside the Cook Islands must, unless otherwise approved by the Comptroller. Give to Customs in such form and manner such advance notice containing the following information:

  • Impending arrival of the craft

  • Voyage

  • Passengers

  • Crew

  • Cargo discharge within the Cook Islands

  • Its commercial cargo not intended for discharge within the Cook Islands

  • The Customs place at which the craft will arrive

  • Type of craft, aircraft,

  • Aircraft registration number

  • Aircraft last port of call, documentation

  • Name all airports the craft has landed at between last port of all and

  • Name of every airport in the Cook Islands at which it intends to land

  • The status of each traveler, passengers and air crew

  • Number of passengers and crew members

  • Complete list of passenger and crew: full name, date of birth and nationality

  • Crew ranking.

Complete Form 30A and submit application to or for further information:

Passenger Declaration

All arriving passengers/visitors via aircraft or sea craft must complete a Passenger Arrival Card. What you need to declare on the Cook Islands Passenger Arrival Card for Customs interest:

  • Any prohibited or restricted goods, for example: medication, weapons, illicit drugs, indecent publications

  • Alcohol and or Tobacco over the allowed passenger duty free concession

  • Goods obtained overseas with a value of more than $750

  • Goods carried for commercial purposes

  • Goods carried on behalf of another person

  • A total of $10,000 or more in cash, precious gems or jewelry.

For Customs purposes, please ensure you declare your goods on your arrival card. A Customs Import Entry is not required when goods are:

  • part of your checked in luggage

  • for personal use.

Customs Import VAT charges may still be applicable. Ensure you have a copy of the purchase invoices or payment receipts of your goods with you.

Prohibited or Restricted Goods

Check out the Prohibited Goods Schedule, and follow the preceding advice:


Please ensure to declare any medication on your arrival card even if you are unsure. It is legal to import small supplies of Prescription Medicines for personal use into the Cook Islands as long as you have a letter or a copy of the prescription from your doctor.

These are classified as a Controlled Drug in the Cook Islands and it is illegal to import controlled drugs into the Cook Islands for personal use.

It is illegal to import Controlled Drugs such as codeine, morphine, medicinal cannabis, etc. For more information on medicinal importations or if you require more clarity please contact Ministry of Health - Te Marae Ora on:





Importation of arms, weapons (such as flick knives and knuckle-dusters), ammunition, parts and accessories are restricted. A permit to import these items must be obtained from the Cook Islands Police Service prior to the arrival of these items.

If you are unsure or need more information regarding a permit, please contact:

Cook Islands Police Service

Phone: +(682) 22466


Alcohol and or Tobacco over the allowed passenger duty free concession

The Alcohol and Tobacco Concession is a passenger concession and only eligible for passengers 18 years and over. On entering the Cook Islands you are entitled to bring in the following quantities of alcohol and Tobacco products free of Customs duty, provided that you are over 18 years of age and that the goods:

  • Accompany you through the Customs arrival process.

  • Are for your own personal use, or intended as gifts.

  • Are not intended for sale or exchange.


You can mix your alcohol purchase but please ensure you are within your allowed concession amount as listed:

  • 4.5 litres of beer or;

  • 2 litres of other alcoholic beverages (wine, spirits or liqueur).


  • 200 cigarettes or;

  • 50 cigars or;

  • 250mg of tobacco

You must declare on your arrival card if you purchase any alcohol or tobacco items in excess of your allowed concession. If you purchase in excess of your allowed concession amount for alcohol or tobacco, you will be charged normal Import VAT and Duty charges on your goods.

Failure to declare your excess amounts may result in a seizure of goods and a penalty fine. For more information, contact our friendly Customs team.

Goods obtained overseas with a value of more than $750

There is a passenger concession for new goods purchased overseas over the value of $750:

  • Goods under the value of $750 are exempt of Import VAT/Duty charges.

  • Goods over the value of $750 will be charged Import VAT/Duty charges.

This concession does not apply to multiple items but rather to one item per passenger.

Goods carried for commercial purposes

Goods carried through by passengers on behalf of businesses or for commercial purposes. It is advised to avoid delays or possible detention of goods at the border, ensure an import entry has been submitted and cleared for the goods or be ready to pay for import charges.

Ensure you have all receipts or invoices on you. If an entry has been submitted and clearance provided, please ensure you have the following documents on you:

  • Delivery Order

  • Copy of Import Entry which lists goods declared

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