MPI's role in exporting

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for ensuring our primary industry export products meet export requirements and are fit for their intended use. We also help New Zealand exporters access international markets.

Our main export functions

Exports of primary industry products (like food, animals, animal products like wool, plants, and wood) are critical to New Zealand's economy. Our work helps producers maintain the quality and reputation of our primary industry products, which supports export growth.

Protect New Zealand's primary industry reputation

New Zealand’s reputation for producing high-quality, safe, and suitable primary products is based on our ability to maintain a robust regulatory system.

We make sure there are systems, standards, and requirements in place to provide importing countries with safe products that meet their requirements, and work with independent verification agencies to ensure the systems are followed and standards are met.

Provide official assurance

An official assurance, or export certificate, from MPI confirms that New Zealand products meet the requirements set by the New Zealand Government, as well as any other trade conditions for exporting to markets overseas.

Assurances provided by MPI may include certifying that export products:

  • are free from specified pests and diseases
  • meet New Zealand standards
  • comply with labelling requirements.

Official assurances are not required for all products or markets.

Grow export opportunities

MPI is committed to significantly increasing the value of New Zealand's primary industry exports by 2025. The goal goes hand in hand with protecting consumers of New Zealand products, our producers, the natural resources they rely on, and our international reputation for food safety, animal welfare, and sustainable resource use.

Growth and protection are closely connected – there can be no sustainable growth without our work verifying our production systems to ensure products meet requirements.

Our work to grow exports includes:

  • ensuring primary sector exporters can access overseas markets
  • negotiating parts of free trade agreements (FTAs)
  • contributing to the development of international standards
  • participating in Minister-led trade missions
  • monitoring compliance with auditing systems.

Maintain and negotiate market access

We work with representatives from other governments to agree on importing and exporting terms and requirements. This might be by holding government-to-government discussions, or through longer-term free trade agreement negotiations.

Help with trade barriers

Trade barriers, or non-tariff barriers, are rules that make it costly or difficult to export to a particular market. Examples include:

  • administrative procedures
  • quantity restrictions (such as quotas)
  • licensing or labelling requirements
  • data storage or privacy requirements
  • price controls or subsidies.

Sometimes non-tariff barriers exist for good reasons. For example, regulations that protect public health or the environment. In other cases, we work to reduce, resolve, or prevent barriers by holding government-to-government discussions, or through longer-term free trade agreement negotiations.

We can help food and primary sector exporters deal with barriers relating to food safety and standards, or animal welfare, and give advice about exporting primary products.

Find out more or register your issue

The Trade Barriers website (from the New Zealand Government) has more information. You can also register your issue using the site.

Last reviewed: