1. Meet New Zealand requirements
The first of 5 steps to exporting wine is to meet the New Zealand requirements.
On this page:
- Set up a Wine Standards Management Plan
- Meet labelling requirements
- Keep records
- When wine is made and branded by others
- Organic wine
- Other steps
Your legal requirements are set out in:
- the Wine Act 2003
- the New Zealand Grape Wine Export Eligibility Requirements Notice [PDF, 572 KB]
- Wine regulations
- Wine (Specifications) Notice [PDF, 69 KB]
- NZ Grape Wine Export Code [PDF, 160 KB]
Samples are exempt
Export eligibility requirements don’t apply to commercial samples of up to 110 litres as long as those samples are clearly marked "not for sale".
Check with your import agent or freight forwarder about any certification requirements for samples, as rules for samples vary by market.
New Zealand Winegrowers
New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) is the industry body. If you sell your grapes or wine, you must pay a levy to NZW. This levy entitles you to membership of the group. NZW also publishes an international wine-making guide and a wine labelling guide.
If you want to export your wine it must be made and packaged under a Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP). Your WSMP must be registered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Get your plan verified
You must get your WSMP verified by an approved verifier within 6 months of registration, or before your first export (whichever is the soonest). MPI will set an anniversary date based upon your first verification. After that, you must schedule a verification every 12 months.
You can schedule verification of the WSMP up to 28 days before your anniversary date. If you schedule it for sooner than that, your anniversary date will change.
If you can’t schedule a verification before your anniversary date, contact MPI as soon as possible.
In general, the rules for labels apply to grape wine made in New Zealand whether it is sold locally or intended for export. But if your destination market has labelling requirements that are different from New Zealand's, you need to meet the destination market requirements instead. As an exporter, it is your responsibility to ensure label compliance with your destination market. New Zealand Winegrowers provides advice about international labelling requirements. It also has a labelling guide you can download on the members’ section of its website.
- Wine labelling and composition requirements
- Guide to grape wine labelling requirements [PDF, 869 KB]
For traceability purposes, exporters must keep accurate records for each lot or batch of wine, you must record:
- the Wine Standards Management Plans ID number the wine was made under. (There may be more than one number if, for example, it was produced under one plan and bottled under another).
- documents that show the wine complies with any relevant overseas market access requirements
- the quantity, storage location, and package type
- the person or business the wine was bought from and sold to.
Keeping this information in Wine E-Cert helps you keep track of which batches of wine are eligible for which markets, where wine has been sent, and the balance of available eligible litres. We have more information about Wine E-Cert in steps 3, 4, and 5.
If you are exporting grape wine that's already been produced and branded in New Zealand, you don't need your own registered WSMP, but the wine producer and packager must have one.
You do not need access to Wine E-Cert but you must work with the wine producer to ensure you only export wine that meets:
- export eligibility requirements under the Wine Act
- any relevant overseas market access requirements.
You will need the wine producer to apply for export documentation on your behalf, listing your details in the 'exporter' field of the consignment request in Wine E-Cert.
If you export organic wine, you may also need to register as an organic exporter, depending on your destination markets.