To export live bees you must:
- register as an exporter or use the services of a registered exporter – if the purpose of your export is commercial
- make sure the apiaries are registered so that their disease status is known, if required
- be aware of relevant legislation
- check market requirements and whether there is a current Overseas Market Access Requirements document (OMAR) available
- refer to codes of practice for guidance
- check whether an import permit is required by the destination country
- engage a recognised agency to assess your operations and apiary registrations
- access export certificate templates (optional).
You may have to meet other requirements as well. These might be of a commercial nature, or requirements set by other government agencies like the New Zealand Customs Service (NZ Customs). It will also pay to check with your importing agent in your destination country to make sure you haven't overlooked any requirements.
Official assurance programme (OAP)
Exporters should be familiar with the official assurance programme (OAP), which is supported by the Animal Products Act and related legal notices, especially those dealing with official assurance specifications, recognised agencies and persons, export-approved premises, and export verification requirements.
The programme is published as 2 types of document that set the standards and specifications for export. Those documents are:
- Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs)
- Codes of practice.
The Overseas Market Access Requirement (OMAR) is the legal document that lays out the requirements for exporting your commodity from New Zealand to your destination country.
Codes of practice
The codes of practice are the guidance material containing the recommended standards for exporters of live animals and germplasm exports.
American Foulbrood pest management
American Foulbrood is a significant bee disease that occurs in New Zealand. This disease is managed under a control programme called a pest management strategy. Although the disease occurs virtually worldwide, most countries require some level of control of American Foulbrood to be in place before bees can be exported to their country. Your OMAR may include requirements relating to the New Zealand control programme, or require an inspection of the hives as part of the preparation for export.
The National Pest Management Strategy has more information about efforts to eliminate American Foulbrood in New Zealand.
Exporting related products
Processes for exporting products related to live bees are provided elsewhere on this website. Follow these steps if you're exporting:
- honey and bee products
- live animals
- germplasm (semen, ova, and embryos)
- poultry – day-old chicks and hatchlings
- inedible animal products.
Recognised Laboratory Programme
Exporters should also be familiar with the Export Laboratory Programme. All laboratories that test live animals and germplasm for export must operate under the programme.
Advice on supplying pre-export, pro-forma documents or certificates
Some overseas competent authorities may ask for information about a consignment before they issue an import permit. Sometimes airlines may also ask for this information.
They may want it supplied in the same format as the relevant export certificate template. However, issuing a document that looks like an export certificate (official assurance) could pose some risk to exports if done incorrectly.
MPI has published a document, which provides guidance and advice to exporters when preparing pro-forma certification for live animal, semen and embryo exports.
Download the guidance document [PDF, 139 KB]