Requesting a new import health standard

Find out what you have to do to request a new import health standard or to get a country approved or added to an existing standard.

Check existing import health standards

Before you make a request to MPI for a new import health standard, search existing and draft import health standards to make sure there's not already one published or in development. Also check to see if it's included in a work programme.

Making a new request

There may be no import health standard for your commodity, or there may be an existing import health standard that does not include the country you are interested in.

To request the development of a new IHS, or to have new risk analysis completed to add countries to an existing IHS, you'll need to complete the appropriate request form, depending on the type of product or commodity. Each form has instructions for completing and returning.

Animal products, live animals, and germplasm

Request for development of an import health standard (animal products) [DOCX, 227 KB]

Request for development of an import health standard (live animals and germplasm) [DOC, 276 KB]

Request for animal or animal product work under an existing import health standard [DOCX, 224 KB]

Country approval and veterinary certificates

If a generic (all countries) import health standard exists for the commodity you want to import, but the country you are interested in is not yet listed as an approved country, the exporting country can contact MPI to express their interest in gaining country approval.

MPI will consider evidence provided by an exporting country's government (Competent Authority) relating to the health status of animals in the country, and exporting systems and capabilities with reference to requirements in the import health standard. If MPI is satisfied with the information provided MPI will allow importation when all other requirements are met. Negotiation of a country-specific veterinary certificate under the IHS may be necessary for some commodities.

The following MPI guidance document is available for Competent Authorities of exporting countries, outlining the information that may be required for Recognition of Export Controls and Certification Systems for Animals and Animal Products.

Plants, seeds, and forest products

Prioritising work

MPI has to prioritise IHS requests when demand is high. Examples of requests include IHS reviews, or the development of a new IHS for plant germplasm (nursery stock and seeds for sowing) by New Zealand domestic industries or importers.

Other items 

Prioritisation of requests

MPI has to prioritise its work. Requests for import health standards and import health standard amendment work is prioritised to determine which requests will be included on MPI's work programme. Requests are prioritised by assessing:

  • importance (criticality to New Zealand)
  • strategic fit (with New Zealand government goals)
  • net benefit (for New Zealand in the longer term)
  • feasibility (of being able to do the work)
  • barriers (whether they can be surmounted)
  • amount of work expected.

MPI allocates government-funded resources to the top priority import health standard work. After the government-funded resource is exhausted, remaining applicants who have indicated they're willing to consider funding the cost of their application themselves will be approached to see if they would still like to consider this option.

Other applicants will be advised if their request has not been prioritised high enough to be included on the work programme.

Who to contact

If you have questions about country approval, veterinary certification and prioritising work, email or

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