Steps to exporting

If you're exporting organic products, you need to comply with the standard exporting requirements and meet requirements that are specific to organics. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.


Follow the steps

Step1

What you need to know

An overview of exporting organics from start to finish.

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MPI administers an Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP) that covers exports of organic products to:

  • the European Union
  • Switzerland
  • USA
  • Japan
  • Taiwan.

This step-by-step process is for exports under the OOAP. For all countries not covered by the OOAP, you need to find out the exporting requirements for your organic product. We suggest you contact the Organic Exporters Association for support.

To export organic products under the OOAP you must:

  • have a verified organic management plan and follow it
  • be certified by an MPI-recognised third party agency
  • be registered with MPI as an organic exporter
  • pay any costs incurred with the registration and participation in the programme
  • meet your destination's market requirements
  • comply with all standard exporting requirements for your product
  • ensure all operators involved in your product are covered by the MPI organic standard OP3
  • apply to MPI for an official organic assurance (for exports to the EU, Switzerland and Japan)
  • register your consignment with MPI (for exports to the US)
  • apply to your third party agency for a certificate for importing organic products into Taiwan (for exports to Taiwan)
  • allow third party agencies and MPI to share information on operator registration details so that official assurances can be issued
  • provide evidence to your third party agency to support consignment eligibility for an official organic assurance.

Organic operators

These are defined as those responsible for the day-to-day management of producing, processing, and handling organic products.

Organic exporters

These are considered a type of organic operator under the OOAP. They must meet the same requirements as operators, as well as some additional export requirements.

Australia

Australia and New Zealand operate under a joint food standards code. This usually means that goods that can be legally sold in New Zealand can also be sold in Australia.

Japan

If you are exporting plant products or processed goods of plant origin to Japan, you may choose to export under the OOAP administered by MPI or through other options.

European Union

If you are exporting organic products to the European Union (EU):

  • after 19 October 2017 consignments must have a certificate of inspection (COI) issued by the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES)
  • until 19 October 2017 consignments may have either a COI issued in TRACES or an MPI export certificate.

Step2

What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

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Comply with standard export requirements

Make sure you comply with export requirements for your product. For example, if you export organic wine, you also need to meet all requirements for conventional wine, whether New Zealand grape wine or fruit wine.

Register as an organic operator

Under the Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP) all operators involved in the export chain of your product must be certified with an MPI-recognised third party agency:

You will be charged for services by these agents.

Have an organic management plan

Organic operators producing products for export under the OOAP must have an organic management plan registered and verified by an MPI-recognised third party agency. This is a formal and approved plan that covers:

  • conversion from conventional to organic production
  • production
  • processing
  • transport
  • storage
  • traceability
  • recall.

Organic exporters need an organic management plan that focuses on handling and traceability.

You need this plan to achieve export eligibility under the OOAP. Your third party agency will evaluate the plan against the requirements of the programme during on-site audits and verify your records on a regular basis.

Your plan must comply with the MPI organic standards and the relevant organic OMAR.

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.

You must designate a person to apply for export certificates and register consignments using this form:

Download the Advice of designated operator and authorised persons for the MPI OOAP form [DOCX, 61 KB]

If you have questions about registering as an exporter, email approvals@mpi.govt.nz.

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).

Check market requirements

Under the OOAP, organic overseas market access requirements (organic OMARs) define the requirements of your destination country for organic products and guide you on what other certifications you need.

Check the organic OMAR for your export destination:

Register your consignment and apply for a certificate, if needed

For the EU, Switzerland, Japan, and the USA, organic product consignments are registered with MPI by completing an application form.

For the EU, Switzerland, and Japan you also need to apply for an export certificate by completing the same form.

Download the OOAP application form [XLS, 227 KB]

For exports to the EU
  • Until 19 October 2017 – you can use either an MPI or an EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) export certificate. Your MPI certificate must be issued before 19 October.
  • After 19 October 2017 – you must apply through TRACES for a certificate.
For exports to Switzerland

You need to apply to MPI for an export certificate for each organic product consignment. The information you put on the application form will be verified by your third party agency.

Certificates will be issued in hard copy. You can collect the certificate from MPI's Auckland or Christchurch offices, or have it sent by courier.

For exports to Japan

If you export through the OOAP, you need to apply to MPI for an export certificate for each organic product consignment. The information you put on the application form will be verified by your third party agent.

Certificates will be issued in hard copy. You can collect the certificate from MPI's Auckland or Christchurch offices, or have it sent by courier.

For other ways:

For exports to the US

You need to register your organic consignments with MPI using the application form. MPI will register your consignments, but will not issue a certificate because it is not required by the US government. However, your importer may require you to have one. In this case, contact your third party agency.

For exports to Taiwan

You need to apply to your nominated third party agency for a certificate for import into Taiwan. Until 1 January, your nominated third party agency will register your consignment with MPI on your behalf. After 1 January 2018, you will need to register directly through MPI by completing an application form.

Step3

How you know you're ready to export

Getting your export documentation.

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Your organic products will be eligible for export when you receive official assurance.

You're officially ready to export when you:

  • are registered as an organic exporter with MPI
  • have an official organic assurance certificate from MPI for each consignment (for exports to the EU, Switzerland, and Japan if exporting through the Official Organic Assurance Programme)
  • have registered your consignment with MPI (for exports to the US)
  • have a certificate for importing organic products into Taiwan from your third party agent for each consignment (for exports to Taiwan)
  • have standard (non-organic) export certification for each consignment.

In addition to this MPI list, you may have to meet other requirements. These might be of a commercial nature 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.

When to alert MPI

As a food exporter you're responsible for telling MPI if your organic product for export:

  • fails to meet relevant organic overseas market access requirements (OMARs)
  • is stopped at an international border
  • doesn't have the required export documents – they have been removed or lost.

Who to contact

If you need to contact MPI about exporting organics, email organics@mpi.govt.nz

You can also call our help desk on 0800 008333.

When to alert MPI

As a food exporter you're responsible for telling MPI if your organic product for export:

  • fails to meet relevant organic overseas market access requirements (OMARs)
  • is stopped at an international border
  • doesn't have the required export documents – they have been removed or lost.

Who to contact

If you need to contact MPI about exporting organics, email info@mpi.govt.nz.

You can also call our help desk on 0800 008333.

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