Official devices for animal products

If you export animal products, including dairy, you must use official devices such as brands, legend materials, carton and container seals.

Official devices explained

There are several kinds of official devices, which are officially controlled and approved by MPI:

  • Legend materials, such as a reduced-size official assurance legend printed on packaging material – this confirms that the products inside the packaging have been inspected and are fit for purpose.
  • Brands, which are a device for applying an official assurance legend directly onto animal products by using approved ink or heated metal.
  • Carton seals, which display the New Zealand coat of arms and the operator’s official assurance legend, and provide evidence that the cartons have not been tampered with.
  • Container seals, that are used to secure the doors or other closures of things like cargo containers and ships holds, and are used to support official assurances or transfer documentation.

When official devices are required

Official devices are required only for animal products including dairy. They are used when the products are manufactured, stored or transported in New Zealand and exported to a destination country. As well as meeting the New Zealand requirements, some destination countries have additional requirements for official devices.

The New Zealand requirements are described in General Requirements for Export (GREX), and other notices and guidance. The requirements for each destination country or market are described in the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs).

Legislative requirements for official devices

The requirements for official devices are set out in Notices, administrative requirements, and guidance issued under the Animal Products Act 1999. 

If you process, store or transport any animal products that are intended for export, you must meet the requirements in the:

This notice requires controls around the distribution and use of official devices and operator container seals to be to the satisfaction of the Director General and explains the approval requirements for manufacturers and suppliers of official devices.

A number of other instruments then explain what controls the Director-General is satisfied with and what official devices are approved as follows:

You can find the requirements associated with branding in this Notice:

Note that MPI is currently reviewing the legislation around official devices and will be consulting on a single notice that will consolidate and clarify requirements in this area during 2019.

Last reviewed: