Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for Agricultural Compounds
Here you will find information on meeting MRL requirements.
Requirements for food sold in New Zealand
All imported and domestically-produced food sold in New Zealand (except for food imported from Australia) must comply with the New Zealand (Maximum Residue Limits of Agricultural Compounds) Food Standards (the MRL Standards) and amendments.
The MRL Standards list the MRLs for a range of agricultural compounds, but also include a provision for residues of up to 0.1 mg/kg for agricultural compound/food combinations not specifically listed. In addition, the MRL Standards recognise the role of Codex standards for imported food.
Under the MRL Standards, agricultural compound residues in food must:
- comply with the specific MRLs listed in the MRL Standard (including the ‘default’ MRL of 0.1 mg/kg where no specific MRL is listed), or
- if the food is imported, it may comply with Codex MRLs.
Codex MRLs (External website)
Food imported from or exported to Australia
Under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA), food imported from Australia may be legally sold in New Zealand, so long as it complies with Australian requirements. The converse is also true, so food imported from New Zealand into Australia is legal, so long as it complies with New Zealand requirements.
Therefore, in addition to the options above, food imported from Australia may also comply with Standard 1.4.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, and New Zealand food exported to Australia may comply with the MRL Standards (link above).
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (External website)
Requirements for New Zealand primary produce
Food produced under the Animal Products Act must also comply with requirements under the Animal Products Act 1999.
Dairy producers operating under Risk Management Programmes must also comply with dairy standards. Check the dairy sector of this website for more information on residues.
MPI also maintains a database to provide exporters with information on pesticide MRLs established by New Zealand’s major trading partners.
The US Department of Agriculture maintains an international MRL database as an initial reference source.
International MRL database (External website)