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Proposed changes to regulatory oversight of fertilisers and fertiliser additives

Your views sought

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking views on changes to the regulatory oversight of fertilisers and fertiliser additives under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997.  MPI welcomes your feedback on the discussion document.

Download the Fertiliser Discussion Document [PDF, 445 KB]


Under the ACVM Act, fertilisers and fertiliser additives are 'agricultural compounds'. When considering the level of their risks to the ACVM risk areas (public health, agricultural security, animal welfare and trade in primary produce) and the requirement to comply with domestic residue standards under the Act, it was decided that fertilisers would not require high level regulatory oversight (registration).

The current ACVM (Exemptions & Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 is passive regulatory oversight for product groups exempt from registration, such as fertilisers and fertiliser additives, as the ACVM risks can be managed without registration. The regulations provide high-level guidance on the requirements which must be met, but the manufacturer or importer has to undertake their own assessment to determine whether they comply with these requirements without any regulator involvement as in the case of registration.

Although many in the industry follow Fertmark™, which was an approved code of practice under the ACVM Act, the 2007 amendment to the Act replaced codes of practice and Fertmark™ did not fit the new 'operating plan' model. This meant Fertmark™ became industry guidance and no longer had any legal standing under the ACVM Act and its regulations.

Consequently, it is timely to review the level of regulatory oversight to assess whether this model is appropriate.

Making a submission

Email your comments to

Submissions close at 5pm, 18 December 2015.

Include the following information with your submission:

  • the title of this consultation document
  • your name and title
  • your organisation's name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation), and whether your submission represents the whole organisation or a section of it
  • your contact details (that is, phone number, address and email).

You can post submissions to:

Fertiliser Consultation
ACVM Programmes and Appraisals
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526, Wellington, New Zealand.

Submissions are public information

Note that your submission is public information. Submissions may be the subject of requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA specifies that information is to be made available to requesters unless there are sufficient grounds for withholding it, as set out in the OIA. Submitters may wish to indicate grounds for withholding specific information contained in their submission, such as the information is commercially sensitive or they wish personal information to be withheld. Any decision to withhold information requested under the OIA is reviewable by the Ombudsman.