Transporting animal products for export

Find out about the food safety requirements if you transport animal products that will be exported. Types of transport include road, rail, sea, and air.

Transport operator options

If you transport animal products that will be exported with an official assurance (export certificate), you must operate under either:

  • a risk management programme (RMP), or
  • a regulated control scheme (RCS).

This applies to the transport of all animal products, including:

  • shelf-stable products, such as canned products
  • refrigerated, chilled, or frozen products
  • rendered products, such as meat and bone meal, and tallow
  • gelatine
  • hides, skins, pig ears, and other animal materials (raw material or finished product) intended for use as rawhide pet chews
  • liquid milk being transported from farms or for further processing.

Operating under an RMP

If you decide to operate under an RMP, you need to register it with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Find out about risk management programmes for transport operators

Find out about risk management programmes (RMPs)

See a list of registered risk management programmes

Operating under an RCS

An RCS is an alternative to an RMP. An RCS only applies if you handle animal products for export that require an official assurance.

Find out about regulated control scheme for transport operators

Some exemptions apply

Some transport activities under the Animal Products Act 1999 are exempt from the requirement for an RMP or RCS – even when the market the products are being exported to requires an official assurance.

This includes products intended for human or animal consumption, such as:

  • animal material being transported in NZ before primary processing (for example, livestock being transported to slaughter premises)
  • raw material being transported to a rendering operation
  • hide pieces being transported to a gelatine manufacturer.

It also includes products that are not intended for human or animal consumption, such as:

  • hides and skins
  • meat and bone meal
  • tallow.

Exporting to countries that don't need an official assurance

If the animal products you handle will be exported to a market that doesn't require official assurances, you only need to meet NZ market requirements. These require you to comply with either the Food Act 2014, or the Animal Products Act 1999 (under an RMP).

Our 'My Food Rules' tool can help you find out what type of programme your business should use.

Find out more about food safety rules using our 'My Food Rules' tool

Find out more about exporting

Who to contact

If you have questions about transporting animal products for export, email

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