Selling and advertising veterinary medicines

If you sell or advertise an exempt, unrestricted registered, or restricted registered veterinary medicine (RVM) in New Zealand, including hormonal growth promotant (HGP), you must follow the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997.

Exempt from registration vet medicine sales

Certain veterinary medicines are exempt from registration and have no restrictions on their sale. Anyone can sell them.

Exempt from registration veterinary medicines

If you promote or advertise exempt products you must meet certain conditions. These conditions are listed in Schedule 2 of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011.

Promotion and advertising conditions for exempt from registration vet medicines - ACVM Regulations 2011, Schedule 2

Unrestricted registered veterinary medicine sales

There are no restrictions on the sale of unrestricted veterinary medicines. Anyone can sell them as long as they meet the specifications approved when they were registered.

If you promote or advertise unrestricted vet medicines, you must meet the conditions of registration.

Restricted registered veterinary medicines (RVM) sales

Restricted veterinary medicines (RVMs) have extra restrictions on their sale, purchase, and use. You need authorisation to buy and use them.

You must operate under an MPI-approved operating plan if you sell RVMs. This is the quality system, documents, and procedures used to:

  • control the sale of RVMs
  • comply with the conditions of registration (including checking authorisations for sale).

Note: You don't need an MPI-approved operating plan if you are a veterinarian and you only supply RVMs that vets in your practice authorise.

If you promote or advertise restricted vet medicines, you must meet the conditions of registration.

Advertising registered vet medicines

Prepare an operating plan and get it assessed

When preparing your operating plan, it must meet the requirements outlined in the Guidance document: Operating plans for restricted veterinary medicine sellers. An easy way to do this is to use our operating plan template. You may use your own format, but assessment could take longer and cost more.

Email your operating plan for assessment to

Approved operating plans

When approved, we'll place your details on our website list of sellers with approved operating plans.

Sellers of restricted veterinary medicines with an MPI-approved operating plan [PDF, 33 KB]

If you need to know whether a company or individual that is not on this list can legally supply RVMs, email us at

Selling hormonal growth promotants (HGPs)

HGPs are a type of restricted veterinary medicine, so they have the same registration conditions for selling.

You must have a seller's operating plan approved if you are a:

  • registrant (you registered the veterinary medicine)
  • importing agent or freight forwarder
  • distributor and wholesaler
  • New Zealand manufacturer
  • veterinary practice providing HGPs for vet authorisation from another practice.

Complete the operating plan template for sellers of HGPs. You may submit an operating plan in a different format, provided you meet ACVM expectations for sellers of HGPs. If you don't use the template, assessment may take longer and cost more.

Email your operating plan to

Authorising purchase and use of RVMs (including HGPs)

If you are a veterinarian with a current practising certificate issued by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) you may authorise the purchase and use of RVMs.

A few registered products, such as vaccines to control exotic diseases, may be used or sold under an MPI-approved operating plan.

Vets recognised to authorise buying and using RMVs: Notice of requirements [PDF, 219 KB]

Vet operating instructions

This document provides guidelines for vets to use when they issue operating instructions to non-vets for:

  • RVMs (including for velvet antler removal), or
  • veterinary medicines that are exempt from registration subject to veterinary control.

Guidance on authorising vets' operating instructions [PDF, 231 KB]

Promoting or advertising registered vet medicines

For both restricted and unrestricted vet medicines, you must meet the conditions of registration – these are listed in the ACVM product register.

Register of Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM)

For general information about advertising and promotion, read the Advertising guidelines for products registered under the ACVM Act.

Advertising guidelines for registered ACVMs [PDF, 165 KB]

Last reviewed: