General requirements

The requirements you need to meet will depend on what your product is and the destination country. MPI plays 2 vital roles in exporting – helping exporters access international markets and ensuring our primary industry export products are safe and free from pests and diseases.


Protecting New Zealand's export trade

Exports of primary industry products – food, animals, animal products like wool, plants, wood and timber – are critical to New Zealand's economy. As a regulator, MPI is responsible for maintaining this trade, ensuring primary industry exports meet New Zealand's high standards for food safety, biosecurity, and animal welfare.

MPI is also responsible for ensuring that exports meet any special standards or requirements the New Zealand Government has determined are necessary for access to countries that import our products. MPI helps ensure the standard of New Zealand's exports is maintained at the highest levels by monitoring and verifying that the systems that produce exports continue to meet all the requirements that apply.

Assurances provided by MPI may include certifying that export products:

  • are free from specified pests and diseases
  • meet New Zealand standards
  • comply with labelling requirements
  • meet all the specified requirements of countries importing New Zealand products.

Become familiar with requirements

Before you start exporting your goods, become familiar with the systems, standards, and other requirements. As a general rule you must first meet base New Zealand requirements, like:

In addition you may need to meet specific export requirements like:

You should also refer to any legislation covering the type of products you're exporting. For example, if you're exporting animal products, the related legislation is the Animal Products Act 1999. 


Export requirements for specific product types

Each destination country has different requirements and they vary depending on the type of product being exported. Some countries and products may not have any specific requirements above New Zealand standards and regulations. Other countries may ban the importation of certain products. It's up to exporters to check they have met all requirements before shipping their goods overseas.

Food

Whether you grow, farm, harvest, process, store or transport food intended for export, or are the exporter, you need to be aware of what is required to prepare your food products for destination markets.

All food and food-related products, including wine and beverages, exported from New Zealand must meet New Zealand standards and regulations. They may also have to comply with additional requirements set by destination countries, or as determined by MPI to be necessary for export there.

In the exporting food section of the website, find information about how to meet these requirements by following our step-by-step exporting guides.

Animals & animal products

If you export animal products you need to comply with the Animal Products Act 1999. MPI sets and administers standards under this Act.

For commercial exporting of dairy products, food containing animal products, live animals, animal germplasm, and bees, exporters must be registered, comply with any related animal welfare legislation, and meet other requirements set by destination countries, or as determined by MPI to be necessary for export there.

In the exporting animals section of the website, find information about how to meet these requirements by following our step-by-step exporting guides.

Find out more

Taking your pet overseas

Owners exporting live animals for non-commercial reasons, such as the owners of pet cats or dogs, do not need to register as exporters but still have obligations to meet.

Plants and forest products

New Zealand is a signatory to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The convention is designed to stop unwanted plants, plant pests, or plant diseases being spread through international trade. Trees and forest products are also covered by the convention. MPI is the government's National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) to ensure New Zealand is meeting the requirements of the IPPC.

MPI's plant exports team provides credible assurances and reduces technical market access barriers. Anyone taking or sending plants or forest products out of New Zealand must meet all phytosanitary (plant health) standards of the importing countries.

Find out more about:

Agricultural chemicals and vet medicines

All agricultural compounds manufactured, sold, or used in New Zealand must be authorised under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997 and Regulations.

Before exporting, the first thing you need to know is whether your product is considered an agricultural compound under the ACVM Act. If it is, it must be registered. If it isn’t, you don’t have any obligations under the ACVM Act, although other legislation may apply.

Exporters also need to comply with all the requirements of their destination countries.


Other exporting requirements

On top of regulations and standards administered by MPI, you may have to meet other requirements. These might be of a commercial nature or requirements set by other government agencies, like the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs). Exporters should also check with importing agents in their destination countries to make sure nothing has been overlooked.

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