Non-compliant ACVM products or activities

Find out how to report a suspected non-compliant agricultural compound or veterinary medicine (ACVM) and how we handle reports of non-compliance.

What is a non-compliant ACVM?

Non-compliance happens when an ACVM product or associated activity:

  • is not authorised, or
  • is in breach of the conditions of registration or of exemption.

What the law says

How to report non-compliance

The steps you need to follow to report a non-compliant ACVM are different depending on whether the product is registered or unregistered.

Find out more about non-compliant registered ACVM products and how to report them

Find out more about non-compliant unregistered ACVM products and how to report them

How we investigate and action reports

By reporting a suspected non-compliant ACVM product or activity, you help us identify and mitigate any potential harm the non-compliance may cause.

We carefully consider all information about potential non-compliance under the ACVM Act given to us before deciding what action to take. All reports are prioritised for action based on risk to:

  • public health
  • animal welfare
  • trade in primary produce
  • agricultural security
  • domestic food residues.

If insufficient information is received, we may not be able to investigate the potential non-compliance.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) follows the VADE (Voluntary, Assisted, Directed and Enforced) model to determine the appropriate action to take. Educating and encouraging voluntary compliance is preferred in the first instance. However, directed or enforced compliance action may be taken if:

  • a company or person is repeatedly non-compliant or unwilling to co-operate
  • MPI has serious concerns regarding the non-compliance.

What the law says about ACVMs and non-compliance

Under the ACVM Act, ACVMs must be authorised before they are imported, manufactured, sold, or used in New Zealand.

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997 – New Zealand Legislation

Authorisation of ACVMs may be through:

  • registration – for products that need individual assessment and approval
  • exemption – for certain products that have already been assessed as a group.

Read more about authorisation of ACVMs

If a product or associated activity is not authorised or is in breach of the conditions of registration or of exemption, the product or activity is considered non-compliant and in breach of the ACVM Act.

It is an offence under section 55 of the ACVM Act to knowingly:

  • manufacture, import, sell, or use a product if it is not authorised
  • not comply with the conditions imposed on an authorisation.

For registered ACVM products these conditions are imposed on its registration under section 23 of the ACVM Act.

For ACVM products exempt from registration, the conditions are outlined in the ACVM (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011.

ACVM (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 – New Zealand Legislation

Consequences of non-compliance

Every person who commits an offence against section 55 of the ACVM Act and is convicted can be subject to either or both:

  • jail for up to 2 years
  • a fine up to $30,000.

A corporation can be subject to a fine up to $150,000.

Who to contact

If you have questions about ACVM non-compliance, email

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