Fees & charges

The NZ government takes a ‘user-pays’ approach to products and services it supplies. Find out about the food safety charges you pay and how they are regulated.

If you operate a food business, you may be asked to pay for some of the functions carried out by MPI that ensure your food and food-related products are:

  • safe and suitable
  • eligible for export.

Fees and charges are calculated on a cost-recovery basis. The pages in this section offer information about the legal framework behind the charges and how they are set. To find information about fees and charges specific to your food products, go to the section for your food sector.

Food sectors  

Food safety services that MPI charges for

MPI charges for the following functions and services:

  • approving and/or registering risk management programmes, food control plans, national programmes, agencies and persons, including third party verifiers, exporters, importers, products and/or substances, facilities, equipment and premises
  • providing the administrative systems and processes for approvals, including appraisals and review
  • assessing or appraising applications, systems or processes
  • suspending or cancelling approvals
  • maintaining associated public registers or lists
  • issuing official assurances (export certificates), including E-cert
  • undertaking programmes, such as those that develop New Zealand food standards, export standards and overseas market access.

In order to be able to operate under the relevant legislation, individuals and organisations requiring an approval, registration, recognition or other services pay MPI’s costs for undertaking these functions.

The legal framework for fees and charges

The statutory basis for MPI recovering costs for services and functions it provides in relation to food safety is described in the following legislation:

  • Part 9 of the Animal Products Act  (APA) 1999
  • Section 81 of the Agricultural Compounds & Veterinary Medicines Act  (ACVM) 1997 
  • Section 84 of the Wine Act 2003
  • Section 42A of the Food Act 1981
  • Part 4(3) of the Food Act 2014..

Under the first 3 Acts, any costs from administering the Acts that are not funded by the government can be recovered from other sources. Under the Food Act, fees or charges can be set to meet, or help meet, costs and expenses incurred in performing functions or providing services set out in the Act.

MPI has developed its cost recovery provisions based on:

  • policy guidelines issued by Treasury
  • the Audit Office’s good practice guide on costing and charging for public sector goods and services
  • constitutional principles outlined in the various reports of parliament’s Regulations Review Committee.

You can download the Treasury guidelines and the Audit Office guide from the Auditor General’s website. Click on the Good practice guides in the quick links at the left of the page and then Charging fees for public sector goods and services.

Controller and Auditor General (External website)

Finding fees and charges

You can find the fees and charges that apply to your food business in the following ways:

  • on application forms and other relevant documents for services you are requesting – these are always inclusive of GST
  • in schedules to the Regulations relevant to your food sector
  • in the website section for your food sector – a number have a page specifically about fees and charges
  • in general sections of the site, including Exporting, E-cert, Importing and General requirements and programes
  • by getting advice from MPI or your verifier, who can offer advice relevant to your individual circumstances – for example, you may be able to reduce the fees you pay by combining verification visits
  • where MPI fees and charges are passed on by a commercial provider, or recognised agency or person, ask them to provide information about their charges – charging back in this way is a commercial activity and outside MPI’s control
  • from your local council if, for example, you are operating under the Food Hygiene Regulations 1974.