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Proposed general export requirements for bee products


Final definition – 12 December 2017

MPI has finalised the scientific definition to authenticate New Zealand mānuka honey.

Submissions released – 4 September 2017

During consultation (11 April 2017 to 13 June 2017) MPI received 120 submissions. Of these:

  • 81 submitters identified as New Zealand individuals and businesses involved in the honey industry (beekeepers, honey processors, packers and exporters or a combination of these)
  • 5 submitters identified as regional or national representative groups, including Apiculture New Zealand, the Unique Mānuka Honey Factor Association (UMFHA) and New Zealand Beekeeping Incorporated
  • 11 submitters were scientists, or interested third parties (including overseas interests).

Other submitters did not identify themselves.

FAQ documents released – 30 May 2017

After recent discussions with stakeholders, we have added new FAQ documents

Consultation extended and data available – 24 May 2017

Consultation has been extended to 13 June 2017.

Data related to honey samples, nectar samples and marker stability is available.

If you would like to get the data, email


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sought your views on the science definition to authenticate New Zealand mānuka honey and a proposal to extend existing – and introduce new – export requirements for all exported bee products.

The proposed requirements were intended to:

  • facilitate market access and ensure the robustness of the assurances provided by New Zealand
  • safeguard the safety and integrity of all New Zealand bee products for export
  • set more rigorous and consistent requirements for honey and other bee products to be eligible for export
  • provide confidence for markets and overseas regulators that honey labelled as mānuka is authentic
  • support the sustainable economic growth of the apiculture industry.

MPI invited you to comment on the draft Animal Products Notice: General Export Requirements for Bee Products. MPI was particularly interested in your feedback set out in the Submission form.

Consultation was open from 11 April 2017 until 13 June 2017 (extended from 23 May 2017). Public meetings were held during the consultation period.

Consultation documents

Find out more

For more information regarding the consultation on the science-based definition for mānuka honey and new export requirements, check the questions and answers in our FAQ documents.

What we proposed

MPI formulated a package of export requirements which were proposed to be included in the Animal Products Notice: General Export Requirements for Bee Products. In summary, the proposed requirements related to:

  • the responsibilities of participants within the honey export chain
  • bee product production, processing and preparation
  • traceability
  • labelling of monofloral and multifloral mānuka honey
  • laboratory tests for mānuka honey
  • record-keeping requirements
  • transitional provisions.

Public meetings

MPI held a series of meetings during the consultation. Feedback from the meetings was recorded and analysed along with formal submissions. Meetings were held in Palmerston North, Hamilton, Whangarei, Gisborne, Nelson, Christchurch, Alexandra and Wellington.

Making your submission

Consultation closed at 5pm on 13 June 2017.

MPI has considered all submissions made on the proposals contained in the Animal Products Notice: General Export Requirements for Bee Products

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make becomes public information. Anyone can ask for copies of all submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the information available unless we have a good reason for withholding it. You can find those grounds 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 the information is commercially sensitive or personal information. Any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may require the information be released.


February 2014 and December 2016 – MPI's science programme to develop the definition for mānuka honey was undertaken.

11 April 2017 –Public consultation on the scientific definition and new exporting rules opens.

18 May 2017 –MPI extends public consultation to allow industry more time to review all of our scientific data.

13 June 2017 – Public consultation closes.

6 July 2017 –MPI decides to push the timing for a final decision on the definition out to allow more time to consider industry feedback.

24 July 2017 –Industry proposes an alternative definition for mānuka honey.

18 August 2017 – MPI decides to delay the finalisation of its science definition to give industry an opportunity to provide all its data and methodology for its proposed alternative definition.

21 August 2017 to 21 October 2017 – MPI meets with industry on numerous occasions and MPI scientists review the information provided by industry on its alternative definition but unfortunately could not find sufficient scientific evidence to support this.

12 December 2017 – MPI announces it has finalised its science definition for mānuka honey and new export rules and notifies industry.

Find out more