International standards

Three international standards-setting bodies are important to New Zealand. Find out our strategic objectives for each of them.

Our strategic objectives 

Three international standards-setting bodies are of great importance to New Zealand because of their role and mandate for the development of international standards in trade.

  • Codex Alimentarius Commission for food safety
  • World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for animals and animal health
  • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) for plants and plant health.

New Zealand strategic objectives have been developed for each of these organisations, following an extensive consultation process.

The importance to New Zealand

The standards and guidelines developed and agreed by these international bodies have the status of international standards under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement). WTO members, like New Zealand, have an obligation to harmonise on the basis of these standards.

As a major producer and exporter of primary products, New Zealand has a clear and vital interest in promoting international harmonisation, ensuring that international standards are sound, science-based and meet the critical requirements of biosecurity and health protection, while not unnecessarily restricting trade.

Strong collaborative effort needed to meet objectives

By their nature, the work of international standards development requires sustained leadership and participation at the international level. New Zealand has a strong reputation and track record of leadership and participation in these bodies and advocacy of international rules-based trade. Our continued input is important to promoting the development of international standards and guidelines of particular importance to New Zealand.  Naturally, the strategies require a strong collaborative effort between all interested parties to achieve our objectives.

Find out more

New Zealand and Codex

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