The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is encouraging food and beverage importers in New Zealand to have a valid Food Importer registration and complete their Intended Use declarations in order to avoid unnecessary delays.

“If you import food, drinks, or ingredients for sale, you must be registered as a food importer with New Zealand Food Safety (part of the Ministry for Primary Industries),” says MPI in a press release.

“Alternatively, you can use an agent who is registered to import your food for you.”

As part of New Zealand Food Safety’s improvements to the food safety system, from 30 June 2021, there will be an automatic check of Food Importer registrations for all consignments intended as food for sale.

From 30 June, food consignments imported into New Zealand by unregistered importers will be held, until a Food Importer registration number is issued.

“Registration helps to ensure food being imported for sale is safe and suitable for customers, and provides a critical link in the chain to assist in tracing food products if a problem occurs,” says New Zealand Food Safety’s Director of Food Regulation, Paul Dansted.

“These registration checks reflect an ongoing, fair, and robust application of New Zealand’s food safety rules.”

These rules apply to everyone importing food for sale, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

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

“Your 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.”

To register, and for more information on your registration, click here.

MPI says will take approximately five working days to receive a new Food Importer registration number.

If you have any questions about registration as a Food Importer, or if you are unsure if the product you import is classed as food for sale, email info@mpi.govt.nz or call (0800) 00 83 33.

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