Modernising our export legislation for food and fibre products

We want to check our framework for export assurances and controls is still fit for purpose. Find out about the work and why it's needed.

MPI's role in exporting

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) issues ‘official assurances’ for some exported products. Official assurances are issued when importing governments require them as a condition of market access for the product. These assurances are required for a large proportion of New Zealand’s primary product exports. They confirm the products meet:

  • New Zealand regulatory requirements
  • any additional requirements as agreed with an importing government.

We help get products into markets

Official assurances act like a passport for products. They help get products into export markets. To get an official assurance, exporters must have documented systems showing how they meet the requirements.

More general export controls are also in place. They include the ability to trace products and requirements for the reporting of problems. These help to protect the integrity of the official assurances we provide and the credibility of New Zealand.

Our regulated export assurance system is built on a framework of legislative measures under the Animal Products Act, and the Wine Act. However, some export assurances are issued under administrative schemes such as the Plant Exports Standards.

Why we're updating the export system

Exports of food and fibre products reached $46 billion in 2019. That is more than half of New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.

We want to make sure that New Zealand has a flexible, resilient, and modern export framework. This will support market access for our food and fibre exports around the world.

Our export assurance and control system has served New Zealand’s interests well. But the international trading environment is changing. There are:

  • tighter requirements from our trading partners
  • heightened food safety and biosecurity concerns
  • increased expectations for legislation-backed assurances
  • increasingly complex supply chains
  • changing products, production systems and export pathways
  • increased requirements to certify production practices and claims
  • changing consumer preferences.

The COVID-19 pandemic makes it more important than ever to update our export framework. We need to ensure it continues to be fit for purpose. This includes making sure we continue to have the right legal powers to support access for our food and fibre exports to global markets, both now and into the future.

This work is part of the Productive and Sustainable Land Use (PSLU) package and the Fit for a Better World roadmap.

Find out about PSLU

Fit for a Better World

Having your say

If we think any legislation needs to change, we will run a public consultation. We'll update this web page as work progresses.

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