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Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

Isle of Palms...
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Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

What food items can you bring from the US (meat, chicken, pasta, cereal...)?

Thanks in advance.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
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28,726 posts
140 reviews
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1. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

Kia Orana Grouper, welcome to the Cook Islands forum.

Meat and meat products aren't acceptable to bring into the Cook Islands from USA. Pasta, cereals, nuts, chocolates, snacks are okay, so long as they are commercially packed and remain in their unopened packet. No fresh fruit or vegetables can be brought in by passengers.

There was a handy guide posted by the biosecurity division at Cook Islands agriculture, but I can't find it at present. Someone else may help you out with the list and what other items are acceptable.

Kia manuia.

Calgary, Canada
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916 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

Are things like chocolate not available? Are there brands such as Cadbury, etc.

New Zealand
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for Mamanuca Islands, Rarotonga, Fiji, North Island
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3. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

Plenty of chocolate on the island BookLady, including Cadbury. It's one of those products which is more expensive on Raro than in NZ which is why a lot of people take their 'chocolate fix' snacks with them from here but coming from Canada, if you're a Cadbury fan, you'll have no issues purchasing it. In fact, if my memory serves, Wigmores has a whole heap of it on display in one of the glass fronted chillers towards the front of the store (just as you go in - on the left). They do this on purpose of course to catch out those of us that have trouble saying no when confronted with an overflowing display of the sweet stuff.

Such is the nature of holidays. Have fun.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
28,726 posts
140 reviews
82 helpful votes
4. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

I'm a big fan of Whittakers, being NZ-made, and not sickly sweet like Cadbury's recipe is since they stopped manufacturing in Dunedin and moved offshore.

You can buy both Whittakers and Cadbury's at CITC supermarkets, and also the artisan range of chocolate as well as the usual blocks and bite sized wrapped chocs for both brands.

CITC store their bars and packets in the chiller area as you enter the supermarket and Foodland. While the boxes of Milk Tray and Roses are kept in the chiller room at the supermarket.

My husband remarked how boxes of Roses chocolates are half the price in NZ at the Warehouse or Countdown, compared to CITC prices when we bought a gift 2 weeks ago. I'm just so thankful that you can get them here!

Aitutaki, Cook...
Level Contributor
2,486 posts
38 reviews
16 helpful votes
5. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

Hi Grouper, here is a link to the Cook Islands Ministry of Agriculture. Once there, click on the link Import Specifications List/Prohibited List to down load a spreadsheet of items.

http://www.agriculture.gov.ck/biosecurity/register-forms/

As you will see, meat and meat products (except for pork) can be brought in from the USA. Be sure you declare everything. It's a good idea to have a list to hand to customs when you arrive

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
28,726 posts
140 reviews
82 helpful votes
6. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

Interesting that meat can be imported from the USA. Looks like some form of certificate is required?. It is not worth the risk of bringing in meat from outside NZ and Australia (where no certification is required from these two countries), and the flight or transit process is long. Meat is so cheap to purchase here and there is lots of meat available at Prime Foods, CITC and Wigmore's as well as other outlets around the island. OK, the choice is not vast but entirely suitable for people who only plan a short visit, and who may be dining out when staying on the island.

Just like entering NZ and Australia, all foods must be declared when arriving into the Cook Islands. Our bio-security is very strict when it comes to passengers importing foods.

Preparing a food-list is very helpful, and it pays to keep your foodstuffs handy in your luggage for closer inspection.

Aitutaki, Cook...
Level Contributor
2,486 posts
38 reviews
16 helpful votes
7. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

I agree it's probably better to wait and buy meat when you arrive but if you freeze it in the original package it comes in from the store, from reading the spreadsheet, that will meet the certificate requirements. I know of people who have brought frozen meat in chilly bins and have had no problem.

Edited: 5 years ago
8. Re: Taking food items from USA to Rarotonga

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