If you import, manufacture, sell or use fertilisers in New Zealand, the ACVM requirements outlined here apply to you.
(These products may also have requirements under other legislation such as the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, the Animal Products Act 1999, and the Biosecurity Act 1993.)
Under the ACVM Act, a fertiliser is a subset of agricultural compound that is used to sustain or increase the growth, productivity, or quality of plants or, indirectly, animals through the application (to plants or soil) of nutrients and fertiliser additives*.
Fertilisers and fertiliser additives do not include substances that are plant growth regulators that modify the physiological functions of plants.
* A fertiliser additive is a non-nutrient substance added to a fertiliser, or applied by itself to land or plants, that:
- improves the supply and uptake of nutrients or
- increases biological activity or
- modifies the physical characteristics of a fertiliser to make it more fit for its purpose.
If you are unsure of your product's status under the ACVM Act, we can do a class determination for you. (There is a fee for this service.) Information on this can be found on the Overview page (link in the left-hand menu).
Getting your product authorised
Your fertiliser is classed as an agricultural compound under the ACVM Act and all agricultural compounds must be authorised.
Normally, fertilisers are authorised via an exemption from registration under the ACVM Regulations. However, you are still required to meet the following basic conditions.
- You must comply with the minimum manufacturing requirements in accordance with a documented system.
- You must ensure your fertiliser is “fit for purpose”.
- You must not misrepresent your product by saying it is anything other than a fertiliser.
When a fertiliser is not a fertiliser
If you make claims about your product that go beyond the definition of a fertiliser above (for example, saying the product will control bud break), the product is no longer considered a fertiliser. It becomes an “agricultural chemical” and will likely require registration. See our section on agricultural chemicals for information on registration.
For more information about fertilisers read: