Steps to exporting animal feeds
Exporters of animal feeds must be registered and follow animal product standards and other regulations, as well as meet the requirements of their destination country. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.
Follow the steps
This export process is for feed ingredients and feed that is manufactured for animal consumption (like grains, sheep pellets, or animal dietary supplements).
To export animal feed products successfully you need to know about:
- registering as an exporter with MPI
- the legislation relating to your type of business
- all of the requirements of your destination country
- risk management programmes (RMPs)
- registering for access to E-cert, MPI's online certification system
- border clearance requirements
- relevant fees and charges.
You may also have to meet other requirements. These might be commercial requirements, or requirements set by other government agencies like the New Zealand Customs Service. It will also pay to check the requirements for your destination country with the importing agent.
Related export processes
Processes for exporting products related to animal feeds are set out elsewhere on this website. Follow these steps if you're exporting:
Register as an exporter or use the services of a registered exporter
If you're exporting commercially, you must register with MPI or use the services of a registered exporter. Exporter registration can be done online, or by completing a printed form.
If you have questions about registering as an exporter, email email@example.com.
Non-commercial exporters don't usually have to register
If the purpose of your export is non-commercial, you don't have to register as an exporter or use the services of a registered exporter unless requested by your shipper (airline or shipping company).
Comply with New Zealand legislation and food standards
You need to meet labelling requirements, and all relevant animal feed standards and regulations, including the:
- Animal Products Act 1999 on NZ Legislation website
- Specifications for Products Intended for Animal Consumption Notice 2014
- Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997 on the NZ Legislation website
- Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 on the NZ Legislation website
- Biosecurity Act 1993 on the NZ Legislation website
Check the requirements of your destination country
As an exporter, you are responsible for knowing and meeting the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMAR) for your destination country. OMARs differ between countries and products and set out requirements for all operators in your export chain – for example, processors, storage providers, and transporters.
If there's an OMAR for your export destination you will likely need an 'official assurance', also known as an export certificate, before you can send your product. Official assurance is the New Zealand Government's assurance to the destination country that your product meets the standards set out in the OMAR.
Read the OMAR thoroughly to make sure you can comply with all the requirements. You need to register with MPI to read animal feed OMARs, which are password-protected.
Other information you should check includes:
Guidance offered by FYIs can help you with exporting concerns or issues. (You may need your OMAR password to read some FYIs.)
OMAR notifications will give you the latest updates for your destination country.
Exporting to a country with no OMAR
If there is no OMAR for your export destination, work directly with your importing agent to find out about certification and any other requirements.
Note that if there's no OMAR, it could mean your product is prohibited from being sent to the country.
Find out if your premises need to be approved
Some countries require premises to be approved, or 'listed', before you can export your products. 'Listing' is a procedure agreed between governments for ensuring that a country's market access requirements are met and products are produced in premises approved to export to that country.
Your OMAR will tell you if you need to be listed, and the process to follow. To be listed, you will need to have a fully operational risk management programme (RMP) and work with your verifier to meet listing requirements.
Operating under a risk management programme (RMP)
If you are an animal feeds processor who exports, you must operate under a registered and verified risk management programme (RMP).
To get an 'official assurance' (export certificate) for animal feed, the feed must be produced and processed under an RMP. Information in the RMP will form part of your application for official assurance.
RMPs help you manage hazards, ensure your animal feed is fit for purpose, and meet legal requirements. If at any point the animal feed is processed outside of an approved RMP, you can't get an official assurance and your animal feed will lose its eligibility for export.
You can also prepare a successful RMP by using one of the codes of practice that has been developed by MPI in consultation with specific industry groups such as producers of pet food and rendering.
- Read more about the pet food code of practice
- Read more about the rendering code of practice [PDF, 798 KB]
Verify your RMP
After developing your programme, you must register it and get it verified each year.
MPI Verification Services verifies operators. You need to work with them to ensure your animal feed meets all requirements, and that you're following your RMP.
Apply for access to E-cert
Export applications are handled online through E-cert, the web application MPI uses to issue official assurances (export certificates) and approve consignments for export.
E-cert tracks products from the time they're produced until they're exported. It is password-protected and new exporters need to apply for access.
Your registration should be finalised within a week, providing all supplied information is correct and payments have been made. If you have questions about E-cert, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request an export certificate through E-cert
Once you are a registered user of E-cert you can access the password-protected website and apply for an official assurance for your consignment.
The information you enter about your animal feed products and the declarations you make will confirm that your product complies with requirements.
If you're exporting another manufacturer's products, you may need their help to complete E-cert applications.
Are you using wood packaging?
If you use wood packaging products other than paper for your product, check that your wood packaging meets the phytosanitary requirements of the destination country. Some countries may require you to treat your wood packaging to make sure it's free of pests and diseases.
When MPI is satisfied that your animal feed products comply with all of the requirements and standards, we issue the 'official assurance' (export certificate) through E-cert.
The official assurance can be provided for your consignment in various ways. Check the OMAR for your destination country and the official assurances programme.
- Refer to the official assurance specifications [PDF, 676 KB]
When to alert MPI
As an exporter you're responsible for telling MPI within 24 hours if your animal feed or dietary supplement product for export:
- becomes unfit for its intended purpose
- is refused entry by a foreign government
- fails to meet relevant Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs)
- doesn't have the required export documents – for example, if they have been removed or lost.
Who to contact
Use the export non-conformance report to alert MPI about any problems. Alternatively, you can use your own form – as long as your notification contains all of the necessary information.
Email your completed form to email@example.com.
If you have questions about exporting animal feeds or dietary supplements, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know how we did, where we could do better, or any questions you may have
For urgent problems, call 0800 00 83 33 (NZ only)