Requirements for pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements
Find out about the legal requirements that apply if you manufacture, sell, use, or import pet food, animal feed, or nutritional supplements.
Authorisation of your product
Pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements are classed as "oral nutritional compounds" (ONCs). ONCs are agricultural compounds so must comply with the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997.
If you want to manufacture, sell, use or import an agricultural compound in New Zealand, it must be authorised. This is required by the ACVM Act. ONCs are normally authorised via an exemption from registration, under regulations.
Exemption from registration
An exemption permits you to make, sell, use or import an agricultural compound without registration.
Exemptions are made by product type or group. They apply to groups that pose very little risk if the products are manufactured and used properly – such as animal feed. Exemption conditions minimise the risk.
To qualify for an exemption your ONC must:
- fit one of the exemption categories
- meet the conditions of the exemption
- comply with all applicable regulations.
When exemption doesn't apply
Your ONC won't be exempt from registration if it:
- contains levels of nutrients greater than those required to deliver a nutritional benefit
- makes therapeutic or pharmacological claims (such as "this product treats arthritis"), or
- has an unregistered veterinary medicine in a medicated feed.
Your ONC also won't be exempt from registration if it contains a registered veterinary medicine and:
- the medicine's use is not consistent with the registration, or
- the medicine is not mixed in a way to ensure even distribution or efficacy while being stored.
In any of the above cases, it's likely your product will need to be registered as a veterinary medicine.
Check if your product is exempt
A class determination is advice the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) can provide to help you determine if your product fits an exemption category and its conditions. Class determinations can also help facilitate importation at the border.
Find out about the requirements that apply to you
Find out more about the requirements based on what you're doing:
Animal feeds and nutritional supplements may also have to comply with other legislation:
- Pet food for dogs and cats has additional requirements under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999.
- Animal feed that has animal product ingredients must comply with APA requirements, as well as with the Biosecurity Act and Regulations.
There may also be requirements under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) Act 1996.
Who to contact
If you have questions about pet food, animal feed, or nutritional supplements, email firstname.lastname@example.org