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Proposed new import health standard (IHS) for cats and dogs


From 1 September 2021 to 30 October 2021, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invites comment on proposed changes to the draft import health standard for cats and dogs.

We're proposing many changes to the existing IHS for cats and dogs [PDF, 282 KB]

We've summarised those changes in a document to help you with your submission.

Full details are in the consultation documents.

Consultation documents

Draft IHS for importing cats and dogs [PDF, 1.4 MB]

Risk management proposal for importing cats and dogs [PDF, 719 KB]

Related document

NZL 656 – SPS Notification for cats and dogs [PDF, 105 KB]

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the draft by 5pm on 30 October 2021 to

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title, if applicable
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address and email).

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

Animal Imports
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

All submissions received by the closing date will be considered before the amended import health standard (IHS) is issued. MPI may hold late submissions on file for consideration when the issued IHS is next revised or reviewed.

Steps to finalising the new IHS

After consultation on a draft import health standard, 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)

A 6-month transition period will be provided from the date of issue of the IHS. During this time, either the previous IHS or the newly issued IHS can be used for import of cats and dogs into NZ

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 a minor or urgent nature) import health standards (IHS) under sections 24A and 24B of the Biosecurity 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/animals to enter New Zealand. MPI must ensure that these requirements are technically justified and provide an appropriate level of biosecurity protection.

Find out more

Steps to bringing cats and dogs to New Zealand (current requirements)