About exemption from ACVM registration
All agricultural compounds – which include compounds used on plants (agricultural chemicals) and animals (veterinary medicines) – must be authorised under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997 before they can be imported, manufactured, sold, or used in New Zealand.
This is usually done by either:
- registration under the ACVM Act
- exemption from registration under the ACVM Act.
Some veterinary medicines do not require registration if they meet certain requirements. This is known as "exemption". Veterinary medicines that are eligible include many animal feeds, shampoos, and homeopathic treatments.
An exemption permits you to import, manufacture, sell, or use an agricultural compound without registration as long as you meet the conditions of exemption and comply with the ACVM regulations.
Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011
This notice has more detail about the requirements in the ACVM regulations for veterinary medicines exempted from registration:
ACVM Notice: Agricultural compounds exempt from registration – Requirements for conditions of exemption [PDF, 379 KB]
Groups exempt from ACVM registration
Each exemption covers one type or group of products with similar risks and uses. For example, an exemption for topical products or for animal feeds. These groups can only be exempt if:
- their use poses a low risk
- they are only used as allowed in the conditions
- they are manufactured properly.
The conditions placed on each exemption are there to minimise risk.
Examples of groups of veterinary medicines that are usually exempt from ACVM registration include:
- some over-the-counter products (such as shampoos, disinfectants, antiseptics, and toothpastes)
- homeopathic oral or topical preparations
- some herbal oral or topical preparations
- oral nutritional compounds – pet food, stock feed, and nutritional supplements.
Note: If therapeutic claims are made for any product (for example, that it treats arthritis) it becomes a veterinary medicine and requires registration.
List of all exempt product types and conditions
There's a complete list of exempt product types and associated conditions of exemption in Schedule 2 of the ACVM Regulations.
ACVM (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011, Schedule 2 – NZ Legislation
Check if your veterinary medicine is exempt
If you're not sure of your product's status under the ACVM Act, we can do a class determination for you. There is a fee for this service.
Class determinations under the ACVM Act
Find out more
Pet food, animal feed, and nutritional supplements
Who to contact
If you have questions about veterinary medicines, email email@example.com