Steps to importing vertebrate toxic agents

Vertebrate toxic agent (VTA) products are used to kill or control populations of unwanted mammals. There are strict importing requirements to ensure VTAs are properly authorised – and don't cause public health problems or jeopardise trade in primary produce. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing VTAs, email

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Follow the steps

Step 1
What you need to know

An overview of importing vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs) from start to finish.

What this import process covers

VTAs are used to control or kill animals like possums, rabbits, and rodents. They do not include non-toxic substances used to repel or attract animals.

To import vertebrate toxic agents successfully you need to know: 

  • if the product is registered under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 
  • if there are requirements that must be met under other legislation, such as the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996  
  • what forms to fill out  
  • other government agency regulations. 

Buying products from overseas or online  

Only VTA products that are registered for use in New Zealand can be imported.  

Registered products must show the ACVM registration number on the label in one of the following ways: 

  • "Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997, No. ...." (number) 
  • "ACVM Registration No. ...." (number) 
  • "ACVM No. ...." (number). 

All products are inspected at the border and if import requirements are not met, products are confiscated and destroyed by MPI, or returned to the sender at your expense. 

Check with other agencies 

Check with other agencies before you start importing. They may have extra restrictions or requirements to MPI.

You should check with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) when importing hazardous substances: 

Visit the NZ Customs website to:

Step 2
What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

Check current registration of your product 

Find out if your product has a current New Zealand registration. Registration means that MPI has assessed the ACVM risks associated with the product, it meets New Zealand's ACVM Act requirements, and can be imported. Border clearance officials check the product label to clear the product for entry into New Zealand. 

You can check current registration by looking for the ACVM registration statement on the product label. This will give the registration status. If it doesn’t have an ACVM registration number, it cannot be imported. 

Product registrants may get approval if products are incorrectly labelled 

If you are the registrant of a VTA product and want to import it without the approved New Zealand label, complete the approval application form. Fees apply. 

Application for approval to import incorrectly labelled products [DOC, 435 KB]

Prepare documents before your consignment arrives 

You need to make sure you have all the necessary approvals and documentation before your goods arrive in New Zealand. The documents you may need include evidence that the VTA product is registered. 

Comply with on-arrival inspections

An MPI inspector will check your product and documentation when your consignment arrives in New Zealand. 

If your product arrives without meeting the requirements, it will be held at the port of arrival. Following assessment, the quarantine inspector will advise you that your product will either be: 

  • returned to sender at your expense 
  • confiscated and destroyed by MPI. 
Step 3
Getting your import documentation

How you know you've met MPI requirements.

Your VTA will be cleared for entry into New Zealand when you have:

  • completed all of the steps that apply to your consignment
  • had your products inspected and given clearance by a border official.
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