The following information aims to assist you with the packing and processing of your Antarctic freight. Please read each section to ensure you have the appropriate documents, forms and dates.


Antarctica New Zealand requests that all event cargo be delivered to its Christchurch warehouse at least 3 weeks prior to your departure for Scott Base. This gives adequate lead-time to ensure your freight arrives in Antarctica before you do. If your cargo arrives late it could delay your departure for Scott Base. When your cargo has left your organisation please email the Logistics Coordinator at Antarctica NZ and advise the number of pieces, total weight, and name of carrier. It would also be appreciated if you could inform us of anything over 2 metres long or oddly shaped. Any items that are to be held in Christchurch until you arrive should be very clearly labelled. All cargo must have your event number clearly marked on each piece and a complete list of contents (packing note) should be on the outside of each item. Please remove any old labels from previous Antarctic trips. Large crates (anything over 50 kg) should have bearers on the bottom (at least 50x50 mm) for forklift use.

NB: Polystyrene beads or chips must not be used for packing.


On receipt of your cargo at Antarctica NZ we will advise you by e-mail. We will also inform you of its cargo tracking number to make it easier for you to locate when you arrive at Scott Base.


Your luggage which is checked in on the day of your departure as per a normal flight, travels on the aircraft with you and will be at Scott Base within a couple of hours of your arrival. The current allowance is 75 lbs (34kg) (not including handcarry items).

  • Accompanied excess: this is checked in with your baggage and travels on the same flight as you. It is in addition to your personal allowance of 75lbs. Accompanied excess must be pre-approved by Antarctica New Zealand.
  • Handcarry: items of a small, delicate nature that will travel with you all the way to Scott Base (eg laptop computer). Because of the extremely crammed conditions handcarry should be able to fit into a standard issue kitbag.


  • No freeze: storage space for "no freeze" items at Scott Base is a problem. Please keep "no freeze" as small as possible, if you have a small piece of "no freeze" it's better to have it packed in a separate box than to put it in a larger box of general cargo and making the whole lot "no freeze". No freeze boxes should be painted black.
  • Hazardous cargo: all haz cargo (ie. flammables, acids, gases, chemicals etc) is to be labelled and packaged as per appropriate legislation. In most cases IATA regulations should be followed. A current MSDS (Material Safety data Sheet) is also to accompany each hazardous substance. Non-compliance will result in non-acceptance of these items. Please also advise where you intend to use each hazardous item this will enable us to prepare paperwork in Christchurch and avoid hassles in Antarctica.

    Hazardous cargo is to be kept separate from general cargo.

    All internal combustion engines are to be drained and purged of fuel. If you are in any doubt as to whether any cargo is hazardous please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  at Antarctica New Zealand (Antarctic Support).

    If you are uncertain of what constitutes a hazardous substance please click on the following links for further information.

    HSNO - Text of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act ERMA - Environmental Risk Management Authority

If in doubt regarding the possible hazardous status of your cargo, please contact us (Operations and Infrastructure).


On arrival at Scott Base the Cargo Handler or Field Support Officer are the people to see as to the whereabouts of your freight. They are both located in the Hillary Field Centre. Just because it's not where you think it should be does not mean it isn't there.


When you depart Scott Base for New Zealand make sure all your return New Zealand (rtnz) cargo is clearly labelled with your event number and final New Zealand destination. Any special handling instructions (keep frozen, no freeze, hazardous etc) need to be fully explained to the Cargo Handler before you depart. For any samples that you are not travelling with make sure a copy of your MAF permit is enclosed.

No hazardous cargo is to be left at Scott Base for future use unless the Scott Base Engineering Manager or Science Technician gives approval. A complete list of all cargo left at Scott Base for future use is to be included in your end of season logistics report.


On receipt of your cargo back in New Zealand Antarctica NZ staff will on forward it (normally by road transport) to the marked address as soon as possible. We will also advise you via e-mail that it has been dispatched, the carrier, and consignment number.


While all care is taken with the storage and movement of cargo by Antarctica NZ and its agents, Antarctica New Zealand will not be responsible or accept liability for any goods lost or damaged. Sponsoring organisations should arrange their own insurance as necessary. It is suggested that this cover should include: storage in NZ and Antarctica, transit to, from and within, and in use in Antarctica.

If you have any questions regarding your cargo, please contact us (Operations and Infrastructure).


New Zealand Legislation information