Guide to importing food
If you want to import food for sale into New Zealand, read this page and the 'Overview' page, in the menu to the left.
Importing food - the process
The flow chart below shows the process for importing foods into New Zealand. Note you still need to read the '8 key steps' below.
Importing process (28 KB PDF)
Importers - 8 key steps
Below are 8 key things you need to do before importing food:
- List with MPI. (This is required by the Importer Listing Standard.) You must do this before importing food for sale into New Zealand. If you have previously listed with NZFSA, you don't have to list again.
This list is for MPI's use – your details will not be publicly available on this website.
Listing as an importer
- Comply with the Food Importer General Requirements Standard. You need to set this up before you start importing. This Standard covers sourcing, storage, transport prior to import, and record keeping requirements.
Food importer standards guidance (56 KB PDF)
- Read about the controls that New Zealand Customs and MPI Biosecurity place on imported food.
New Zealand Customs Service (External website)
MPI Biosecurity New Zealand (External website)
- Make sure you understand the import clearance procedures and requirements for food imported into New Zealand.
Import clearance procedure (62 KB PDF)
- Find out if you are importing 'prescribed foods' and read the clearance options and procedures for these foods. Prescribed foods are certain foods that present a risk to consumers. MPI monitors these for specific hazards. You may need a permit to import these foods.
See the 'Importing specific foods' page, in the menu to the left.
- Before you apply for a permit, you need to complete the following form and pass a credit check.
Application for Credit Facility Form (39 KB PDF)
Single use permit application form
- Read the 'Fees & charges' page. If you need to clear prescribed foods, you will need to pay the MPI Central Clearing House for sampling any foods that require testing.
Find the 'Fees & charges' page in the menu to the left.
- Ensure your foods for sale comply with labelling and composition Standards in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. For example, they must have labels in English.
Guide to comply with labelling requirements (711 KB PDF)
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (External website)
More about your legal responsibilities
For more details about your obligations as an importer, read about Legislation on the 'Documents' page, in the menu to the left.