Meeting standards & requirements

MPI regulates and maintains standards for New Zealand's export industry. This work is central to MPI's other role of helping exporters access international markets.


MPI's role

As a regulator, MPI is responsible for ensuring New Zealand's primary industry exports — food, animal, plant and forest products — 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 export to other countries.

Export products must meet standards

All primary industry products exported from New Zealand must meet New Zealand standards. They may also have to comply with other requirements set by destination countries or markets. The particular requirements you need to comply with differ depending on the product type and where it's going.

MPI creates the standards and works with independent verification agencies to ensure that certification and official assurances of export products meet New Zealand standards and, where needed, certify that the products comply with the requirements for export to trading partners overseas.

These standards are based on specifications, policies, and codes developed and updated by government and industry. MPI makes sure any assurances that we give to importing countries are based on a robust production system, with its performance confirmed by doing audits and other checks at every link of the exporting chain.

Official assurances and other kinds of certification from MPI help assure border authorities in destination markets that your products comply with requirements.

Our laboratories also play a role in trade assurance.

Legislation is the foundation for many requirements

Export requirements are regulated through the following Acts, which can be found on the New Zealand Legislation website:

Animal Products Act (APA) 1999  

The APA 1999 applies to products including meat, dairy products, seafood, honey and bee products, petfood, hides and skins, wool, live animals and genetic material. The Official Assurances Programme can assist with guidance on getting export certificates. For more information refer to the:

Food Act 1981 (and Food Act 2014 as it comes into force)

The Food Act 1981 (and Food Act 2014 as it comes into force) covers all the requirements expected of food manufacturers, processors, distributors and sellers of food that is sold or traded. The Food Act 2014 will replace the Food Act 1981 – the bulk of its provisions will come into force in 2016. For more information, refer to the:

Wine Act 2003

The Wine Act 2003 regulates exporting of New Zealand grape wine, other fruit wine, cider and mead. for more information refer to the:

Biosecurity Act 1993

The Biosecurity Act is the legal basis for excluding, eradicating and effectively managing pests and unwanted organisms. It ensures the protection of New Zealand's economy, environment, people's health, and social and cultural wellbeing from pests and diseases. For more information refer to the:

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