Official assurance programme

The official assurance programme (OAP) for exporting live animals, semen and embryos (germplasm) helps ensure exporters meet the import requirements of their destination country. Find out more about the programme.

Overview of the OAP

The OAP is a framework of standards, policies, and legislation that gives importing governments confidence that any animal material, including live animals, semen and embryos, from New Zealand meets the import requirements for those markets. Most importing governments need official assurances for any live animals, semen and embryos being exported from New Zealand.

Before it can issue an official assurance, MPI needs to verify any claims made on the assurance. This maintains New Zealand's integrity as a trading partner and MPI's reputation as a competent authority. For exporting live animals, semen and embryos, MPI does this through:

  • codes of practice or operational codes, which provide guidance on recommended standards to help the industry meet their requirements
  • an Export Verification Programme to independently verify the performance of export-approved premises (semen centres, embryo teams, and poultry hatcheries)
  • Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs).

The OAP is supported by the Animal Products Act 1999 and legal notices.

Codes of practice/Operational codes


Export Verification Programme

The Export Verification Programme outlines operational details of the performance-based verification process for export-approved premises (semen centres, embryo teams, and poultry hatcheries).

Legal notices

Related information

Who to contact

If you have questions about OAPs, email

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