Steps to exporting inedible animal products
For many destination countries you need an 'official assurance' from MPI that your product meets their importing requirements. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.
Follow the steps
What this export process includes
This export process is for inedible animal products that are not for human consumption, including skins, hides, animal trophies, and wool.
Products for export to countries that require an 'official assurance' (export certificate) from MPI need to be processed and stored in MPI-approved premises. Operators involved in the processing, storage, and transport of these products must have a risk management plan.
To export inedible animal products successfully you need to know about:
- registering as an exporter, or using the services of a registered exporter
- legislation relating to your type of business
- meeting the requirements of your destination country
- engaging a verifying agency
- relevant fees and charges
- for some countries, registering for access to E-cert, MPI's online certification system, to apply for the required official assurances (export certificates)
- border clearance requirements.
You may also need 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 with the importing agent in your destination country that you haven't overlooked any requirements.
One-off exports by individuals
If you are an individual wanting to export a single consignment of inedible animal products, like hides or hunting trophies, you need to confirm with the country you are exporting to whether they require an official assurance (export certificate) or CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certificate.
If you need an export certificate, contact an MPI Verification Services office to process the official assurance (export certificate).
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is responsible for managing New Zealand’s CITES responsibilities.
Related export processes
Processes for exporting products related to inedible animal products 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.
Check the requirements of your destination country
As an exporter, you're responsible for knowing and meeting the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMAR) for your destination country. OMARs differ between countries and products, and set out the 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'll need to register with MPI to read the OMARs for animal products because they're password-protected.
You should also check the OMAR notifications, which 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 is no OMAR, it could mean your product is prohibited from being sent to that country.
Operating under a risk management programme (RMP), if needed
For an animal product to get an official assurance (export certificate), it must be produced and processed under a registered and verified risk management programme (RMP), unless there are specific exceptions, as for hunting trophies. Other suppliers in your export chain – for example, storage facilities, processors, and transporters – also need to operate under an approved programme. Information in the RMP will form part of your application for official assurance.
RMPs help you manage hazards, ensure your product is fit for purpose, and meet legal requirements. If at any point your product is processed outside of an approved RMP, you can't get an official assurance and your product will lose its eligibility for export.
Register and 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 processes comply with all requirements, and that you're following your RMP.
Ensure storage and transport requirements are met
Stand-alone operators who store and transport an animal product before it is exported must meet specific requirements, depending on the market.
Find out if you can use E-cert
For many destination countries, export applications are handled online through E-cert, the web application MPI uses to issue official assurances (export certificates) and approve consignments for export. Your OMAR will say whether your application can be handled through E-cert.
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 (export certificate) for your consignment.
The information you enter about your inedible animal 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 the E-cert applications.
Are you using wood packaging?
If you use wood packaging products other than paper for your export product, check 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 products comply with all of the requirements and standards, we issue the 'official assurance' (export certificate) through E-cert, if required
The official assurance can be provided for your consignment in various ways. Check the OMAR for your destination country and the official assurances programme.
When to alert MPI
As an exporter you're responsible for telling MPI within 24 hours if your inedible animal product for export:
- becomes unfit for its intended purpose
- is refused entry by a foreign government
- fails to meet the relevant Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs)
- doesn't have the required export documents – for example, if they have been removed or lost.
Contact MPI if your products don't conform to the export requirements. You can either use the export non-conformance report to alert MPI about any problems, or use your own form – as long as your notification contains all of the necessary information.
If you have questions about exporting animal products, email email@example.com.
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