National Chemical Contaminants Programme

All milk and dairy products are monitored under the National Chemical Contaminants Programme (NCCP) to make sure residue levels don’t exceed acceptable limits.


If you operate under a risk management programme (RMP) or are a verifier, you need to ensure that no residues are present in New Zealand dairy products. The National Chemical Contaminants Programme (NCCP) is one way this is managed, under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999.

The APA requires all dairy processing, including activities at the farm dairy, to be covered by a registered RMP. The Act also sets out various requirements to make sure there are no contaminants in New Zealand dairy products. These requirements are regulated in conjunction with the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997, which governs the use of agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines.

You need to know about the requirements if you're responsible for:

  • developing or operating a dairy RMP
  • verifying or assessing RMPs or particular activities under an RMP.

How the NCCP works

Data is collected in three ways under the NCCP to check that contaminants are being controlled:

  • random monitoring, through annual sampling
  • directed surveillance, targeting substances and practices that pose a higher risk
  • surveys, focused on materials or compounds that have little or no historic data.

Read more about the NCCP:

Learn how the annual sampling is done:

When exposure to contaminants is suspected

MPI has developed guidelines to help RMP operators and recognised agencies work out the best course of action when non-conforming or contaminated milk is suspected or confirmed.

Use these guidelines to manage any product exposed to chemical residues that exceed maximum residue limits (MRLs):

Find out more about food monitoring programmes under the APA:

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