Sunday, July 14, 2024

Govt serves up food export exemption proposal

Food Safety Minister, Andrew Hoggard says a new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports.

“The coalition Government has listened to the concerns outlining the need for a more efficient export exemptions system that allows for more product innovation,” said Mr Hoggard.

The regulatory changes proposed would remove the requirement for individual export exemption applications and assessment by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). 

Consultation opens today on changes that aim to reduce unnecessary red tape for exporters and allow food businesses to do what they do best – bring jobs, opportunities and export dollars into New Zealand,” the Minister said.

The new proposed exemption pathway is to enable food exporters to own and manage the process for meeting importing country requirements. Exporters would need to meet any conditions specified in regulations, and this would be independently verified as part of their existing risk-based measures.

“Food exports are the bedrock of our economy, and this proposal demonstrates this Government’s steadfast commitment to backing the primary sector and growing the value of New Zealand exports,” said Mr Hoggard.

Currently, food produced for sale in New Zealand – and for export – must meet domestic food standard requirements for composition and labelling. When foods for export are produced to meet different importing country requirements, food exporters must apply to MPI for an exemption under the Food Act 2014.

“This is costly and inefficient – for both exporters and MPI. It happens on a case-by-case basis, with businesses required to apply for exemptions for each individual product to a designated market.”

“The clear message from dairy sector representatives, who are currently the main users of the existing export exemption process, is that the process is limiting their ability to take advantage of export opportunities, innovate and compete in overseas markets.

“The options proposed in the consultation better align New Zealand with key trading partners, including Canada, Australia and European Union member countries,” Mr Hoggard says.

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