APA recognised agencies

Learn about the role and responsibilities of recognised agencies in food safety. Find out how to become a recognised agency or how to renew your recognised agency status

The role of recognised agencies

A recognised agency is an individual or body recognised by MPI to carry out certain functions and activities under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999.

What does a recognised agency do?

A recognised agency engages persons to carry out specific functions and activities to check that operators are meeting requirements. In most cases, these persons need to be recognised persons. These functions and activities include:

  • evaluating and/or verifying operators operating under a risk management programme (RMP)
  • verifying operators operating under a regulated control scheme (RCS) or national programme
  • verifying that operators meet certain export requirements
  • laboratory testing and analysis of animal material or products
  • sampling for monitoring and surveillance purposes
  • other functions or activities required under the APA.

Legal responsibilities of recognised agencies

Recognised agencies must comply with legal requirements under the APA. These requirements are set out in Part 8 of the Act as well as in the following notices (and amendments to these notices):

Finding a recognised agency

See lists of recognised agencies for animal products and dairy laboratories:

Becoming a recognised agency

Recognised agencies need to be capable of managing and supplying the particular functions and activities which they are recognised to perform. They need to be:

  • competent in specified functions and have appropriate resources to perform them
  • reputable and of good character
  • impartial and independent
  • able to meet the requirements under the APA.

Find more detailed information about requirements under the relevant notices:

Applying for or renewing your recognised agency status

Use the AP8 application form to apply to become a recognised agency or renew your recognised agency status.

AP8 – Recognised agency [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Export verification

The following notice sets verification requirements and frequencies in relation to animal products for export with an official assurance:

Operators whose animal products are exported undergo performance-based verification (PBV). If you are an auditor in this area, you need to be aware of what information is required in PBV audit reports. The following guidance document explains what these requirements are and how they should be reported:


The Operational Code: Verification describes the expectations for recognised agencies and recognised persons performing external verification under the Animal Products Act 1999 (APA).

This Operational Code only applies to businesses that are:

  • producing animal material or products, other than live animals and germplasm, and
  • producing animal material or products for domestic sale, or export without an official assurance.

Operational Code: Verification [PDF, 508 KB]

Fees and charges

In holding recognised agency status, you may need to pay fees and charges for the following:

  • applying for recognised agency status
  • annual renewal of recognised agency status
  • assessment fee.

Fees and terms are quoted on the application form:

Changing or terminating the recognised agency you operate under

Use the AP60 application form to change the recognised agency responsible for your recognised agency verification activities or to terminate your contract with a recognised agency.

AP60 – Change of recognised agency for verification purposes [PDF, 674 KB]

AP60 (DOC version) [DOC, 424 KB]

Keep up to date

It’s important to keep up with any new or revised information for recognised agencies. This includes requirements, consultations, policies, and other content changes.

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Food Act verifiers

There are also recognised agencies that operate under the Food Act 2014.

Learn about requirements under the Food Act 2014

Find out about becoming a regulator or verifier under the Food Act

Last reviewed: