Before you start exporting
Exporting to other countries isn't easy. There are a lot of rules to follow, different government agencies and people to deal with, and sometimes quite complex systems to learn.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is one of the 3 main government agencies involved in exporting. The others are the NZ Customs Service and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.
If you're new to exporting, our beginner's guide (Ducks in a row) will give you a good overview of what's involved.
Beginner's guide to exporting (Ducks in a row)
Choose a market
Different markets have different rules and regulations for products entering their borders. Before you decide where to export to, you should:
- check if your product has access to that market
- check if you need an import permit for it
- ideally, have an importer in the market
- consider getting a reliable freight forwarder who works with that region.
You should also check whether your product needs:
- an export certificate (sometimes called a health certificate or phytosanitary certificate)
- to come from a registered manufacturer under a plan or programme, for example, a Risk Management Programme
- to come from a manufacturer that's listed with export market Government authorities.
In some cases, you can only find these things out by reading password-protected documents, which you may not be able to access without registering as an exporter. Our export advice team can give you some information before you register.
Ensure your product meets requirements
For all primary industry exports, you need to meet both the New Zealand requirements and any additional overseas market requirements.
Requirements depend on the product you're exporting and the market you're exporting to, but can include things like:
- operating under a particular plan or programme throughout production
- having operations regularly verified by an approved verifier
- including specific information on labels.
Check the steps to meet specific requirements for your product
- Exporting food and beverages
- Exporting animal food
- Exporting wool, hides, trophies, and rendered animal products
- Exporting live animals
- Exporting grains and seeds for sowing
- Exporting live plants and laboratory plant products
- Exporting timber and wood products
- Exporting agricultural compounds
- Exporting veterinary medicines
Comply with New Zealand laws
Primary industry export requirements in New Zealand are covered by the following Acts: