09 846 8492
May 1, 2021

Changes to Food Importation requirements

MPI has issued a reminder that businesses importing food need to have a valid Food Importer registration, and complete their Intended Use declarations for all consignments of food, drinks, and ingredients.

People who import food, drinks, or ingredients for sale must be registered as a food importer with New Zealand Food Safety. Alternatively, they can use an agent who is registered.

As part of New Zealand Food Safety’s improvements to the food safety system, in a few months’ time there will an automatic check of Food Importer registrations for all consignments

This includes tariffs in Chapters 2-5, 7-13 and 15-22 and codes 0602.90.00.01G and 1404.90.00.39C of the Working Tariff Document.

Food consignments imported into New Zealand by unregistered importers will be held, until a Food Importer registration number is issued. These rules apply to everyone importing food for sale including:

• processed food;

• health and dietary supplements;

• alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages;

• fresh fruit and vegetables; grains, seeds, and nuts;

• confectionery; and

• food for promotional giveaways.

Imported food includes ingredients used in manufacturing of food and beverages, such as hops.

Intended Use declarations are crucial and getting this right will facilitate efficient border clearance. New Zealand Food Safety has published advice on Intended Use coding.

Refer to the Register as a Food Importer page for easy-to-follow steps on how to register, renew or update your food importer registration. It will take approximately five working days to receive a new Food Importer registration number.

If you have any questions about food importer registration, or if you are unsure if an imported product is classed as food for sale, please email info@mpi.govt.nz or call 0800 00 83 33.