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Draft IHS for importing personal consignments of products for human consumption and personal effects

Update – 30 November 2021

We've released a summary of the submissions we received and our responses to the issues raised.

Summary of submissions [PDF, 415 KB]

Background to this consultation

From 19 July 2021 to 31 August 2021, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invited comment on the draft Import Health Standard: Personal Consignments of Products for Human Consumption and Personal Effects.

Full details of the proposed changes are in the consultation documents.

Consultation documents

Draft IHS for Personal Consignments of Products for Human Consumption and Personal Effects [PDF, 477 KB]

Draft Risk Management Proposal: Personal Consignments of Products for Human Consumption and Personal Effects IHS [PDF, 524 KB]

Personal consignment consultaion FAQs [PDF, 237 KB]

Related document

WTO Notification SPS NZL 651 [PDF, 84 KB]


What was proposed

The draft standard covered personal consignments of fresh and stored plant products and personal effects (not otherwise already covered by a standard).

  • Defined a personal consignment for the purpose of this standard.
  • The standard set an overall personal consignment weight limit of 40kg for all food products (including animal products). The standard also set an individual plant product weight limit of 2kg. These were based on what MPI considered a fair and reasonable definition of personal use whilst ensuring that the standard did not comprise solely of one food product. This was in line with the  IHS: Personal Consignments of Animal Products [PDF, 521 KB]
  • Personal consignments can be imported via any pathway – passengers, air, and sea freight, as well as containerised personal effects (for example, people shipping their households to NZ).
  • Where the products do not comply with the requirements of this standard (including weight limits) then the product must be imported under the relevant existing commodity standard.
  • The standard will not permit personal consignments of fresh fruit and vegetations. All imports of these commodities will need to comply with the current commodity standards. This requirement explicitly states the long-standing on-arrival procedures which have always been required.
  • Where stored plant products do not meet requirements (including weight limits and any specific plant product requirements), they must meet the requirements of the commodity standard to be imported.
  • Personal effects (not already covered by a standard) will need to be cleaned and be free of regulated pests and contamination. This explicitly states long-standing on-arrival procedures which require inanimate belongings to be clean on arrival.

Steps to finalising a new IHS

After consultation on a draft IHS, MPI publishes a provisional IHS.

If you made a submission during the consultation, you have 10 working days to notify the Director-General of MPI that you intend to request an independent review.

Reviews are limited to whether or not specific scientific evidence was given sufficient consideration.

If no review is requested within 10 working days, then the provisional IHS is confirmed and issued as a standard.

For more information about reviews refer to Section 24 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (NZ Legislation)

Find out more

Steps to importing household goods and personal effects

Steps to bringing or sending items to NZ

Ministry for Primary Industries Standard 152.02 – Importation and Clearance of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables into New Zealand [PDF, 2.2 MB]

IHS: Stored Plant Products for Human Consumption [PDF, 559 KB]

IHS: Personal Consignments of Animal Products [PDF, 521 KB]

Submissions are public information

Note that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it.  That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

Legal background

MPI must consult with interested parties in accordance with section 23 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) and MPI's consultation policy before issuing or amending (other than of minor or urgent nature) import health standards (IHS) under sections 24A and 24B of the Act.

An IHS specifies import requirements that must be met either in the country of origin or of export, or during transit, before biosecurity clearance can be given for the goods to enter New Zealand. MPI must ensure that these requirements are technically justified and provide an appropriate level of biosecurity protection.