Importing pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements

Find out about the requirements for importing pet food and treats, animal feed (including feed commodities, pelleted feed, processed feed, and fodder), and nutritional supplements.

Products likely to be exempt from registration

If you import pet food, animal feed, or nutritional supplements, they're likely to be exempt from registration under the ACVM Act 1997.

Find out more about ACVMs exempt from registration

However, to be exempt you must meet the requirements for oral nutritional compounds. These are set out in the ACVM (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations.

The regulations require you to:

  • make sure the imported animal feed or dietary supplement is fit for purpose (regulation 7)
  • make sure the specified information is on the label of the imported animal feed or dietary supplement (regulation 12)
  • not make misleading statements about the animal feed or supplement – particularly therapeutic claims (regulation 13)
  • keep records (regulation 15)
  • meet the specific requirements for oral nutritional compounds (Schedule 2, Part B, entry 22).

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 – NZ Legislation

Importing feed commodities

If you're importing feed commodities, you must also meet additional requirements for these products.

ACVM Notice: Imported Feed Commodities [PDF, 264 KB]

If you change the product or its label

Regulation 12 lists what needs to be on your product's label. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • directions for use
  • expiry or use-by date
  • details of any precautions to take.

There may be products manufactured overseas for which you want or need to change the labels for the New Zealand market, either to:

  • provide more information specific to New Zealand customers, or
  • bring the product into compliance with ACVM requirements.

If you do make a change to the product or its label, you will be considered a manufacturer for that product. You will then need to meet the requirements for manufacturers.

Find out about manufacturing pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements

Border clearance of oral nutritional compound imports

If you're importing pet food, animal feed, or nutritional supplements, a class determination letter will make it easier to get your product released at the border. There is a fee for this service.

Border officials may delay clearance if they're not sure whether the imports are properly authorised under the ACVM Act.

Find out about class determinations under the ACVM Act 1997

Find out more

Importing pet food

Importing animal feeds made from plants

Importing ingredients for animal food

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997 – NZ Legislation

Who to contact

If you have questions about pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: