When we may order a directed verification
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) may receive information that raises concerns about the safety and suitability of imported food or the operations of a registered food importer. When this happens, an importer may be directed to have their operations verified.
Even if your business is subject to routine verifications under a national programme or a food control plan, your importing business may still be required to have a directed verification.
If that happens, a verifier will visit your business and make sure you are meeting the requirements of a registered food importer under the Food Act 2014.
It is important that you keep your food importer registration contact details up to date. To make changes, email email@example.com
How directed verification works
If MPI receives information that there is a concern about your food importing operation, we will determine if a verification of your business is required.
If verification is required
MPI will write to you, setting out:
- the reasons that MPI requires your operations as a registered food importer to be verified
- information on how to find a recognised verifier
- the date by which you must notify MPI that you have arranged a verification
- the date by which the directed verification must be completed (usually within 1 month of the date of the letter)
- the date by which you must have sent the report from your verifier to MPI
- the legal basis on which the verification is required by MPI.
What to do if you are directed to be verified
You will need to make arrangements for the verification with a recognised verification agency. You'll need to give the agency a copy of the direction you received from MPI.
Only certain verification agencies and verifiers can do directed verifications of food importers. The letter from MPI will provide you with information on how to find one. You decide which verification agency you wish to use and contact them directly to get their agreement and make arrangements for the verification.
You can also search our register of recognised verifiers on our register. (In the search filter, select the 'Recognition Function' to find verifiers who can do directed verifications).
You must notify MPI of the name of the selected verification agency by the date stated in the letter.
You should notify MPI as soon as possible if there are any scheduling delays, or you or the verifier are unable to meet by the date required in the MPI letter.
You are responsible for paying the costs of the verification to the verification agency that you choose.
What happens during the verification
The verifier will come on the scheduled date and verify your food importing operations.
- will look at a range of aspects of your operation
- will ask questions
- may want to see your operation in action, and talk with your team members
- may want to see records or other information.
Based on what they see and hear, the verifier will make a decision about your business' compliance and will explain their findings to you. You will both discuss any areas where you need to do things differently. You will have a chance to explain your ideas on how you might do that. You and your verifier will agree on actions you will take and by when you will do them.
The verifier will let you know if you need to be verified again in the future.
You will receive a written report from the verifier by email or post. You must send this report to MPI by the due date (the date we specified in our letter).
The verifier will be required to confirm the actions have been taken and that the concern has been addressed in a satisfactory manner.
You must comply with a directed verification order
Under the Food Regulations 2015 (regulation 97), you are required to arrange and undergo a directed verification when instructed to do so. If you don't, this will result in further action being taken, which can include deregistration as a food importer.
If you disagree with, or want to dispute, what the verifier decides or requires you to do, you should contact MPI as soon as you receive the verifier's report, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who to contact
If you have questions about directed verification, email email@example.com