How Much “Duty-Free” Can You Bring into the Cook Islands?
What’s a holiday without a few drinks? Many of us try to get a bargain by purchasing our favourite drinks or tobacco from duty-free stores in the airports on the way to Rarotonga and the Cook Islands or even from the duty-free store when landing in Rarotonga. Be aware, however, that the Cook Islands has a limit to how much duty-free goods can be brought into the country, including allowances on alcohol and tobacco. In this guide, we’ll go through the duty-free allowances for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands.
How to Declare Your Duty-Free Goods When Arriving in the Cook Islands
So we’ve established there are allowances for the number of duty-free goods you can bring into the Cook Islands, but how do they check?
First, you will be asked to declare any duty-free goods that exceed the limit that you have stated on your Cook Islands Passenger Arrival Card, which you receive on your flight or cruise into Rarotonga. You may then be asked by an Immigration/Customs Officer on arrival how much alcohol or tobacco products you have with you. Finally, your luggage will be x-rayed when going through Biosecurity.
Note that you only need to declare the duty-free goods that you are bringing into the Cook Islands if they exceed the allowance (see below for the Cook Islands duty-free allowances). If you are unsure, it’s best to declare them anyway; if it turns out that your duty-free items are not above the allowance, then you’ll be allowed to keep them. Not declaring your goods that exceed the allowance could result in a fine or seizure of goods.
Find out more about what else you need to declare in What to Declare When Arriving in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Duty-Free Allowances for the Cook Islands
Each passenger arriving in the Cook Islands is entitled to a certain amount of duty-free goods. Here is a quick breakdown of allowances for duty-free goods each passenger can bring into Rarotonga.
Cook Islands Duty-Free Allowance for Alcohol
Each passenger aged 18 and over can bring the following quantities of duty-free alcoholic beverages into the Cook Islands:
- Wine not exceeding 2 litres (67.6oz) or
- Spirits/liqueurs not exceeding 2 litres (67.6oz) or
- A mixture of wine, spirits and/or liqueurs not exceeding 2 litres (67.6oz) or
- Beer not exceeding 4.5 litres (152oz).
Cook Islands Duty-Free Allowance for Tobacco, Cigarettes and Cigars
Each passenger aged 18 and over can bring the following quantities of duty-free tobacco, cigarettes and/or cigars into the Cook Islands:
- Cigarettes not exceeding 200 or
- Cigars not exceeding 50 or
- Tobacco not exceeding 250 grams (8.8oz) or
- A mixture not exceeding 250 grams (8.8oz) in total.
Other Duty-Free Allowances
Each passenger may also bring duty-free goods into the Cook Islands as long as the combined value of the goods does not exceed NZ$750. This does not include alcohol and tobacco which have their own allowances (see above).
For more details on the duty-free allowance for the Cook Islands, see the official government source, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Duty-Free Allowances in the Cook Islands
What are the questions that travellers ask about duty-free allowances in the Cook Islands? These answers might help answer yours!
How Many Cigarettes Can You Take into Rarotonga?
You can take up to 200 cigarettes into Rarotonga, as per the duty-free allowance for tobacco in the Cook Islands.
How Many Bottles of Wine Can I Take to Rarotonga?
Considering a standard bottle of wine is 750ml (25oz), you can safely take 2 bottles of wine to Rarotonga. The duty-free allowance for wine is 2 litres (67.6oz).
Duty-Free Shopping in the Cook Islands
There is also the opportunity to buy duty-free goods on arrival into the Cook Islands (just alcohol and tobacco), as well as duty-free goods including gifts on departure from the Cook Islands.
Find out more about where to buy duty-free goods in the Cook Islands, as well as duty-free allowances for countries around the world (so that you don’t go over the limit at your next destination) in The Guide to Duty-Free Shopping in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
More About Duty-Free Allowances for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
That’s it for our complete guide to the duty-free allowances for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands. Find out more about what you can and cannot bring to the Cook Islands in the following guides:
- Arriving in Rarotonga: Airport Customs, Biosecurity & the Arrival Process
- What to Declare When Arriving in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- Taking Food to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: What You Need to Know
Finally, make your arrival into the Cook Islands a seamless one with our Arriving at Rarotonga Airport, Cook Islands: A Step-by-Step Guide.