Storage and processing requirements – honey exports

What you must do if you're involved in manufacturing, storing, processing or transporting honey or bee products that will be exported.

You need to meet these requirements if you're involved in any part of an export honey production process, including if you extract, cream, blend, package, store or transport honey or bee products.

You also need to check if there are requirements specific to your destination market.

Check destination market requirements

Source from a listed beekeeper

You can only export honey and bee products that have been sourced from a beekeeper who is listed with MPI.

Operate under a risk-based measure

A risk-based measure is a programme or plan that helps you manage risks when processing or storing bee products.

You need to know if you'll need an export certificate for your products to decide which option is best. If you're not sure if you need an export certificate, email exporterhelp@mpi.govt.nz.

If you need an export certificate – RMP

You must operate under a registered and verified Risk Management Programme (RMP) if the destination you're exporting to requires an export certificate.

Other suppliers in your export chain, eg storage facilities, processors, and transporters – also need to operate under an approved programme.

Requirements for storage, transport, wharves and airports

You have two options when developing a RMP:

  1. use MPI templates; or
  2. if your processes are not covered in these templates, you will have to develop a custom RMP.

Secure a verifier

All bee products RMPs must be verified at least twice a year. The verifier will confirm in writing that they are willing to verify your RMP each year, and you need to include this confirmation with your application to register your RMP with MPI.

To find a verifier to audit your RMP, first contact AsureQuality. If they are unable to be your verifier, contact MPI Verification Services.

Register your RMP

Once you have gone through the steps to develop your RMP (and, where necessary, had it evaluated) you need to register it with MPI. Your RMP must be registered with MPI before you can start operating.

Annual processor levy

If you are processing or storing honey or bee products for export and operating under a RMP, MPI will charge you an annual levy to cover the cost of:

  • developing requirements and standards for the honey and bee product industry;
  • negotiating access to export markets; and
  • monitoring residues under the bee products Regulated Control Scheme (RCS).

If you don't need an export certificate – Food Act 2014

If the bee products you are processing are exported to markets that do not require an export certificate, you can operate under the Food Act 2014. This means you may use a National Programme or a custom Food Control Plan instead of, or as well as, operating a Risk Management Plan.

Single-site National Programmes will need to be registered with your local council. Multi-site National Programme operations that are in different council areas can be registered with MPI.

Keep traceable records

Providing eligibility documentation for export certificates

RMP operators are required to provide evidence of where their bee products are from, and how they have been handled and processed.

Eligibility documents are raised in MPI’s Electronic Certification system (E-cert) to prove that the product has remained in the RMP chain. These documents are used as supporting evidence when raising an export certificate.

If you process or store animal products for a market that requires an export certificate, you must enter information into E-cert whenever the products move between premises.

Mānuka honey export certification

Operators of premises of final control must ensure that all final eligibility documents they raise in E-cert for consignments of honey labelled as mānuka honey include:

  1. The required validated laboratory test results proving that each batch of honey in a consignment is mānuka honey; and
  2. In the product description field, the exact mānuka honey statement intended for any resulting export certificates. Mānuka honey must meet the MPI definition.

Premises of final control means the last place the bee products are physically located before they are transferred to a port for export. These premises must be operating under a risk-based measure.

Providing transfer documents

Transfer documents are required for all bee products that are intended for export to countries that do not require an export certificate.

The operator of the premise of final control (the last place the bee products are physically located before they are transferred to a port for export) must provide the transfer documents to the exporter, and keep a copy for four years.

When a consignment of bee products is transferred from one premise to another, the sending operator must provide a transfer document to the receiving operator.

Download a transfer document template [PDF, 271 KB]

  • If both operators have active RMPs then the transfer document must be in the form of an eligibility document generated in E-cert.
  • Part 4.3 of the General Export Requirements for bee products (GREX) sets out the requirements surrounding transfer documents.

Honey and bee products General Export Requirements Notice [PDF, 694 KB]

Ensure your beekeeper supplies a harvest declaration

If you are the first to process bee products for export, you must ensure you are supplied with a harvest declaration for every delivery of bee products.

You must keep a copy of these for at least four years.

Meet labelling requirements

Domestic labelling requirements

If you package bee products, you need to comply with the labelling requirements in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Labelling consultants can help you work out what you need to do.

Download a guide to NZ honey labelling [PDF, 332 KB]

Destination market labelling requirements

Some destination market labelling requirements can be found in the OMARs (Overseas Market Access Requirements). Registered exporters or RMP operators can apply for access to view OMARs via the MPI website.

Search OMARs

Mānuka honey labelling

Operators who process honey for export must not use the word mānuka or any other term that implies that the honey consists of mānuka unless it meets the MPI definition for mānuka honey.

Part 5 of the GREX sets out the definition of mānuka honey and information surrounding its labelling and export certification.

Honey can only be tested to the definition at laboratories recognised by MPI under the Animal Products Act 1999. You must keep a copy of any test results for at least four years.

Provide a manufacturer's declaration

Some markets require a manufacturer’s declaration as supporting evidence alongside an export certificate. This is a statement from the processor certifying that specific batches of product were produced to the standards set by the export market.

The requirements for a manufacturer’s declaration vary between markets. Declaration requirements may be stated in the OMARs and should also be checked with your exporter.

As an operator you must ensure that when your bee product is intended to be sold as honey, nothing else is added to the product after extraction.

Who to contact

If you have questions about exporting honey and bee products, email exporterhelp@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: