Guidance on using AP E-cert
Guidance and resources to help animal product exporting businesses understand and meet their obligations when using AP E-cert.
What is AP E-cert?
AP E-cert is an online system used to electronically raise and issue export certificates for destination markets that require official assurances.
Videos on the exporting journey
Exporting journey of an animal product (2.05)
Learn about the animal product exporting journey to overseas markets that require official assurances.
[Visual: The title "Exporting Journey of an Animal Product" is displayed. A person in a kitchen starts talking.]
Kia ora. Understanding the whole journey of an animal product is important. Whether you're exporting meat, honey, dairy, or any other animal product like turtle milk.
[Visual: A truck is shown in a field in front of a building.]
Each step helps you to get your product to your customers. Once the turtle milk has been collected, it's transported to the processing factory where it gets treated and packaged.
[Visual: A person is shown packing bottles of turtle milk into a carton.]
Each factory that processes the turtle milk makes an eligibility declaration, otherwise known as an ED. This accompanies the product on the next steps of its journey and guarantees that it's met quality and safety standards at each step.
[Visual: A person is verifying the bottles against a list that he holds.]
When it's been processed, the turtle milk is sent to a storage facility before being shipped.
[Visual: Containers of turtle milk arrive at a storage facility.]
Now that the turtle milk is processed, packaged, and ready for shipping, exporters need to raise an export certificate. Animal exporters need this certificate for markets, requiring official government to government assurance.
[Visual: The turtle milk container from the truck is being loaded onto the cargo ship.]
With an MPI approved export certificate the turtle milk is ready to leave New Zealand.
It's sent to an air or sea port, then shipped to its destination country.
[Visual: A world map. Dotted lines connect New Zealand to its neighbouring countries.]
If the export certificate isn't approved before departure, the turtle milk could be temporarily held at the destination port, or refused entry at the destination country. But all going well, the turtle milk will arrive safely in your customer's hands.
[Visual: A customer in the dairy aisle of the store examines the turtle milk.]
Getting it right is great for you and your business. But it's also an important part of supporting New Zealand and its exports.
[Visual: Visit mpi.govt.nz/exporting or email email@example.com
New Zealand Food Safety, Ministry of Primary Industries, Manatu Ahu Matua.]
Exporting journey of an animal product: A closer look at certification (4.55)
Learn more about the export certification process in the animal product export journey to overseas markets that require official assurances.
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After watching the video of the exporting journey, you understand a bit more about what animal products that require official assurance need to go through to get to the customer.
Now we'll look at the certification process in more detail, and your part in making sure it runs smoothly.
A lot of factors in documents help ensure an animal product is safe and suitable when it reaches the customer.
Take turtle milk for example. After leaving the farm, the turtle milk is processed.
[Visual: A bottle-filling machine with an operator.]
During its processing journey, the turtle milk can go to different premises at different locations. Every location has a separate risk management programme, also known as RMP. The RMP is a written programme designed to manage the hazards, wholesomeness, and labelling of animal material.
[Visual: A Risk Management Programme checklist. The list has 4 check boxes - safe, suitable, truthful labelling, and meets New Zealand food safety requirements.]
This ensures the turtle milk is fit for purpose, safe, suitable, and has truthful labelling. Every time the turtle milk moves from one RMP premises to another for processing, it needs a new eligibility declaration or ED.
EDs are electronic transfer documents that are raised to track the process the product goes through. They need to accurately capture all the information required to guarantee their quality and safety standards, and market requirements have been met at each step of the journey.
[Visual - A laptop showing an eligibility declaration. The required details of turtle milk are entered into the fields of the ED, then a stamp reading "MPI Verified" appears.]
The required information as in the Overseas Market Access Requirements or OMARs.
Once the turtle milk is fully processed, it's moved into storage and the final ED is created.
[Visual: A container carrying the fully processed turtle milk reaches the storage place. A laptop with the final ED document appears.]
The final ED compiles all the information from the previous EDs, including additional information, test results, and classification for the turtle milk to be eligible in the intended market. Once the final ED is verified, the exporter can use it to raise an export certificate in the AP E-cert system.
The AP E-cert system is an electronic certification system that tracks processing and movement of products. It's here that exporters will document that their product meets manufacturing and market requirements. When exporters raise the certificate, they need to read the relevant OMAR to check if official assurance is required.
The OMAR tells exporters the requirements they need to meet for the destination market and specific requirements for their product, in this case, turtle milk.
The OMAR also provides the exporter with the template number they'll need to use in the AP E-cert system. Once the export certificate has been submitted, it's checked by an MPI certifier.
[Visual: An MPI certifier checks the export certificate.]
They either approve the submission or return it for resubmission. Having to resubmit an export certificate due to missing or incorrect information will cost the exporter time and money. However, if the export certificate is approved, the product will successfully arrive at the destination market. This shows the destination country's competent authority that the product has met their official assurance requirements.
[Visual: A ship with large containers arrives at a port.]
If the turtle milk arrives without an accepted export certificate to accompany it, or the export certificate isn't approved by the competent authority in the destination country, the milk might not be allowed into the market. It could sit at the destination port until an approved eligible export certificate arrives. In this case, the exporter needs to contact MPI within 24 hours.
[Visual: The exporter talks to MPI on his phone.]
Issues not only affect the exporter, but the industry as well. If something goes wrong with the turtle milk, this can impact the turtle milk industryand bring their quality standards into question. In turn this can impact New Zealand's relationship with the destination country.
Delays, rework, and errors can cost time and money, damage industry reputations, or cost New Zealand an exporting relationship. Every step of the turtle milk journey determines if the milk can be collected by importers and made available for customers.
To make sure the turtle milk reaches customers' hands at the end of the process, each step needs to be followed and all the documentation needs to be accurate, completed at the right time, and approved.Because at the end of the day exporting correctly means your products such as turtle milk is at its highest quality when it gets to your customers.
[Visual: Visit mpi.govt.nz/exporting or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealand Food Safety, Ministry of Primary Industries, Manatu Ahu Matua.]
Guidance and resources
Quick reference guides
We have step-by-step guides to help you use AP E-cert:
Raising an eligibility document (ED) [PDF, 540 KB]
Create a supporting document [PDF, 248 KB]
Raising an export certificate [PDF, 418 KB]
AP E-cert demonstration
Our walk-through demo shows you how to raise an export certificate in AP E-cert.
Help files in AP E-cert
The AP E-cert help files provide rules and guidance on how to use AP E-cert. You can get access to the help files for AP E-cert by logging into the system, going to the main menu, and choosing "help".
AP E-cert training system
MPI strongly recommends that you practice raising eligibility documents (or eligibility declarations) and export certificates in the AP E-cert training system before you use the live AP E-cert system. Your AP E-cert RealMe login will also give you access to this training application.
Key terms to know when exporting animal products.
Glossary [PDF, 183 KB]
When the product is moved from one place to another, an authorised user enters the required product data into AP E-cert. This generates an electronic transfer document, known as an eligibility document or eligibility declaration.
Once the eligibility document is submitted, the local verifier reviews the information. They approve the document based on their knowledge of the premises and the contents of the document. They may request an amendment if the information is incorrect or incomplete.
Phases 3 and 4
Phase 2 is repeated for each product transfer. Products recorded on one document may be combined with other products to create a new document.
This can be repeated many times as processing continues and the products are moved between registered premises. AP E-cert tracks the movement history of animal products as they are transferred between premises within New Zealand.
When the product is ready for export, the exporter (or their agent) enters the required product and consignment data into AP E-cert. This generates a request for an export certificate. They email MPI certification services to confirm they've raised a request.
Once a request is submitted, the MPI certifier reviews the request. They make sure that all the information is correct and that the right statements (attestations) have been selected as required for the destination country. Sometimes they may need to check details of the product with the exporter, the RMP operator, or the verifier.
When the MPI certifier is satisfied, the certificate is approved and issued.
Destination country officials review the export certificate as part of their border clearance processes. The officials may access AP E-cert to validate the data and confirm that a paper certificate is genuine. For some destination countries, the certificate data is sent electronically from AP E-cert directly to a database controlled by the border authority.
As well as meeting New Zealand standards and requirements, you may need to meet specific New Zealand export requirements depending on your product and the destination country. These are some key documents to read and refer to when using AP E-cert.
Risk management programme requirements
Primary processors of animal material and products for human or animal consumption are required to operate under a registered risk management programme (RMP).
Regulated control scheme requirements (transport operators)
Transport operators moving animal products must operate under a regulated control scheme (RCS) or an RMP. Modes of transport include road, rail, sea, and air.
Export approved premises requirements
Primary processors of animal material or product not for human or animal consumption that are exempt from having an RMP are required to operate under an export approved premises (EAP).
Official assurance specifications (OAS)
Overseas market access requirements (OMARs)
Any requirements for the export of animal products to a specific country or market are outlined in overseas market access requirements (OMARs). These documents are password protected, so you will need to apply for a password.
Regional certification offices
Consult the MPI certification office in your location.
Dairy (all of New Zealand)
09 909 6200
09 909 2701
Bay of Plenty
03 943 1777
Who to contact
If you have questions about exporting animal products, email email@example.com