Getting your product authorised

Your ONC (pet food, animal feed or dietary supplement) is classed as an agricultural compound under the ACVM Act and all agricultural compounds must be authorised. Normally, authorisation for these products is via an exemption from registration under Regulations.

Exemption under Regulations

An “exemption under Regulations” permits you to import, manufacture, sell or use an agricultural compound without registration if you comply with the conditions placed on the exemption.

Exemptions are done by product types or groups. Only groups that pose very little risk if the products are manufactured and used properly, such as animal feeds, can be exempt. Conditions placed on the exemptions are to ensure minimal risk. See “Conditions on exemption” below.

Petfood has additional requirements under the Animal Products Act.  Visit the Petfood & inedibles section of this website.

Petfood & inedibles

Animal feeds also must comply with Animal Products Act requirements (if it has animal product ingredients) and with Biosecurity Regulations.

New Zealand Legislation: Animal Products Act 1999 (External website)

New Zealand Legislation: Biosecurity (Ruminant Protein) Regulations 1999 (External website)

When the exemption does not apply

The exemption from registration does not apply to ONCs if:

  • Therapeutic or pharmacological claims, such as “treats arthritis”, are expressly stated or obviously implied about the product.
  • The product contains a feed additive that is not listed as GRAS - for more information, see GRAS below

In these cases, your product becomes a veterinary medicine and is likely to require registration. Go to our Veterinary medicines page (link at left) for registration information.

If you are unsure of your product’s regulatory status under the ACVM Act, we can do a class determination for you. (There is a fee for this service.) For more information on class determination, go to our Overview page (link at left).


MPI maintains a list of substances that can be used as feed additives because they are generally recognised as safe (GRAS) when used for that purpose. As part of your obligations under the ACVM Regulations to ensure that your product is exempt from registration, you should confirm that any feed additive in your product is GRAS.

If you want to include a substance on the Substances Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) register, use the following form:

Application for Alteration of a Register of Substances Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS Register) (58 KB DOC)

Conditions on exemption

If your animal feed or dietary supplement is exempt from registration you must comply with the Regulations and the specific conditions imposed on the ONC exemption (entry 25 in Schedule 2—link at right).

For more information on these requirements refer to the pages below that apply to your situation. These are based on the activity you are undertaking. Use the menu on the left to find your way around.

  • Importing
  • Manufacturing
  • Selling
  • Using