Shipping to Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Information about the Rarotonga shipping port and the specific procedures for importing goods.

PFM Shipping Agent

Hawaii Pacific Maritime

Shipping and cargo agents, chandlers, providors, customs agents.

Address:PO Box 435,
Cook Islands
Contact:Helena & Agnes
Phone:+682 27185
Fax:+682 27186

Important Import Information

Unpack/Store Location: Hawaii Pacific have their own unpack facilities on Avatiu wharf and unpack all PFM containers. Goods are stored in HPM Customs Bonded shed on the Avatiu wharf.

Timber regulations & processes: All timber must be ISP 15 compliant and stamped. Failure in this regard will result in a Quarantine stop and fumigation on the wharf payable by the Consignee.

Prohibited goods that can’t be imported or require licenses: Firearms, Fireworks, Liquor, Plant and Vegetable all require special licenses/permits prior to importing.

Specific procedures must be followed

Guns / Ammunition: A permit/license issued by Cook Islands Police is required prior to shipment. There is currently a hold on any importation of Firearms into the Cooks.

Food stuffs: Receipts are recommended for Customs purposes. Customs VAT of 12.5% applies for the costs of goods plus freight. No Fruit, Vegetables or Meat via LCL/FAK.

Seeds: requires a quarantine permit

Timber / timber packaging: All timber must be ISP 15 compliant and stamped.

Dangerous goods: Must be accompanied by a DG cert.

Personal Effects: A signed inventory list by the shipper/consignee is required with values for customs purposes. Items should be specified if new or used. New items will require receipts and VAT charges will apply. Falsified declarations will incur fines.

Storage charges: apply 5 working days after discharge.

Abandonment processes: 90 days after arrival of goods.

Shipping Lines: Reef Shipping use the Southern Express and PDL/PFL use the Forum Pacific to Rarotonga. REEF are the only service provider able to move goods ex Rarotonga to Aitutaki. Hawaii Pacific Maritime can assist in this service via REEF

Equipment Availability: 20’gp and 20’ hc, 40’ and 40’ HC’s and Break Bulk

Weight: Containers can be loaded to max weight of 28000kg. Rarotonga use Vessel gear, and if required, in conjunction with a shore crane, to discharge vessel, directly onto Avatiu Wharf.

Bulk Services: Yes available via Reef, PDL and PFL Shipping directly.

Split Ports: Yes 20’ Rarotonga Aitutaki split port containers can be done. Devanned by HPM and reloaded on the vessel by wharf stevedores for Aitutaki. Container gets devanned in Raro and then put back on ship.

Dangerous Goods: Must be declared to PFM at least 48hrs before container cutoff and get approval – very strict. PFM get approval in writing from the line by submitting them a copy of the IMO DG certificate. This document is the responsibility of the Supplier/Shipper to provide to PFM. Local Transport certs can not be used, Internet templates can be used.

People present at unpack: HPM Staff

Systems used to check off cargo: HPM check off cargo from PFM Load list/ Outturn Report, in cooperation with Cook Islands Customs dept. Recording of any damage, missing or over landed cargo is noted at this time, photos taken and reported to Hawaii Pacific Maritime office staff. Cargo is then stored in HPM Shed for release to consigness on presentation of Agent delivery order and customs release. Goods are Quarantine inspected while in the shed. Goods can be further inspected by Customs at this stage.

Notice of arrivals procedures: Hawaii Pacific Maritime are responsible for sending Notice of arrivals to all Notify parties or Consignees if no Notify Party is specified. These are sent Prior to Vessel arrival. Vessel takes approx 10 days ex Auckland to Rarotonga

Other useful or helpful information

Marks: Every piece of cargo should to be marked in large clear marks that are not easily torn off. Written on is best. 2 sides is preferable. Cargo without marks will very easily go missing and claims for loss rejected.

Packaging: Goods should be received into the export store already packaged suitably - with a good dose of common sense used, for loading with other cargo via sea freight. Insurance use this term “how goods would normally be sent commercially for export via sea freight” Most export stores do not want to get involved in the individual packaging of items but can make recommendations, ie wooden crates, thick cardboard boxes, rolled or balled newspaper or polystyrene inner packaging or employ professional packaging services.

Insurance: This is very simple to arrange and relatively cheap – though PFM does not offer this service, we can recommend an insurance broker. You can apply an A, B or C policy with limits your coverage and cost. Its always good to get a policy that covers you for General Average (costs if a Ship or cargo is lost at sea) as well as for goods and the cost of freight. If you do not have insurance you will only be covered for Limited Liability (approx NZD1500 total payout) as per PFM Standard Terms and Conditions.

Freight Collects: Ok except Personal effects, and we always get approval from our agents for amounts over NZ500.

Bills of Lading: Any amendments to PFM bills of lading/manifests/Master Bills of Lading after the PFM manifest has been lodged with customs may result in customs fines to PFM.

The exact marks and number of pieces and type of pieces (ie crt plt ctns) must correspond to what has been loaded in the container and be shown on the PFM Bill of Lading. This is not only so when the people at the port of destination are devanning the container, they can easily identify the cargo as it comes out, but the Master bill, Export Manifest and PFM House bills have to add up and match exactly. Each line on the PFM bill must show the individual number of pcs, weight and M3. These individual number of pieces, weights and m3 must exactly total the total shown on the PFM bill.

Master bills: Master bills to the shipping line must exactly represent what our PFM bills of lading state for the sum of the number of pcs. The weight has to be correct because of safety issues but the M3 on the Master can be declared at 25.000m3. Combined container Master Bills are allowed.

Rarotonga Shipping Schedule

The following table provides a quick summary of upcoming shipping dates for Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Vessel Name Number LCL Cutoff ETD ETA
Imua v137 Friday
17 May
24 May
6 Jun
View more Rarotonga shipping dates