The Food Act 2014 – Critical Information for Food Importers

Importers of dietary supplements or ingredients used for dietary supplements must register as a food importer under the Food Act 2014 and meet food safety requirements

The Food Act is a critical piece of legislation for all who operate in the food industry and you need to be aware of what it means to you. MPI have some excellent resources available on the Act which can be found HERE

There are two important matters to take note of. The first is the requirement for anyone importing food to register with MPI. This is a legal requirement so if you plan to import then you need to register, or use a registered agent.

The second is the need for any manufacturer or retailer to ensure that the product is safe and suitable and complies with legal requirements. This includes knowing that you are buying product from an approved and reputable supplier. It is important you know your importer is registered – don’t accept product from them if they are not. If they cannot prove they are registered then you should immediately let MPI know by contacting on 0800 00 83 33 or email info@mpi.govt.nz.  A list of registered importers can be found HERE

Registered food importers must meet food safety requirements set under the Food Act 2014.  The details of these requirements on the MPI website

How to apply to be a registered food importer

Note that it can take up to 3 weeks for an application to be processed.

To apply to be a registered food importer, you must first register with the New Zealand Customs Service (NZ Customs) using one of two forms on the website.

Follow the instructions below that match your situation.

  • New food importers who don’t have a Customs client code should apply using Customs form 224.  Tick the ‘Yes’ box for Food Importer.
  • Importers that have a Customs client code and now wish to also import food should update their information using Customs form 225. Tick the ‘Yes’ box for Food Importer.
  • Food importers who have a client code, but who haven’t registered for Trade Single Window need to re-apply using Customs form 225

Customs will notify MPI when they receive your application. You will then be contacted by MPI to request payment of the fee of $133.69 including GST for the new Food Importers application.

For Help

If you need help with becoming a registered food importer, or believe that you are already registered, please contact:

approvals@mpi.govt.nz

Ph: 0800 008 333 or 04 894 2550

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