Steps to exporting

Egg and egg product exporters must register with MPI and comply with all New Zealand food safety standards and legislation – plus meet all the requirements of their export destination country. We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.

Follow the steps

Step 1
What you need to know

An overview of exporting eggs and egg products from start to finish.

To export eggs and egg products successfully you need to know about:

  • registering as an exporter with MPI
  • all legislation relating to your type of business
  • the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and New Zealand food legislation, including labelling and packaging requirements
  • all the requirements of your destination country
  • operating under a risk management programme (needed to get official assurances), a food control plan, or a national programme
  • registering for access to E-cert, MPI's online certification system, to apply for the required export certificates (official assurances)
  • border clearance requirements
  • relevant fees and charges.

You may have to meet other requirements as well. These might be of a commercial nature, or requirements set by other government agencies like the New Zealand Customs Service. It will also pay to check with your importing agent in the destination country that you haven't overlooked any requirements.

Operating requirements

Your operating requirements vary depending on whether you are a primary or secondary processor, and whether your products need official assurances for export.

Primary processors

If you are a primary processor (who harvests, candles, grades and packs eggs) you must operate under a risk management programme (RMP) under the Animal Products Act 1999, regardless of whether your destination country needs an official assurance. You can find out more about RMPs in Step 2.

Secondary processors

If you are a secondary processor (who breaks eggs and makes egg products) you may operate under one of the following:

  • a risk management programme (you must choose this option if you export to countries that require official assurances) – refer to Step 2 or
  • a food control plan under the Food Act 2014 (only choose this option if you export to countries that do not require official assurances).

Note: Existing businesses can continue to operate under a food control plan or the food hygiene regulations until their transition to a food control plan by 30 June 2018.

Exporting organic products

If you're exporting organic eggs or egg products, you need to know about the Official Organic Assurance Programme (OOAP). This programme is designed to make it easier to export organic products to specific countries.

Step 2
What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

Register as an exporter or use the services of a registered exporter

If you're exporting commercially you must register with MPI, or use the services of a registered exporter. Exporter registration can be done online, or by completing a printed form.

If you have questions about registering as an exporter, email

Non-commercial exporters don't usually have to register

If the purpose of your export is non-commercial you don't have to register as an exporter, or use the services of a registered exporter, unless requested by your shipper (airline or shipping company).

Comply with New Zealand legislation and food standards

You need to meet labelling requirements and all relevant food standards and regulations, including the Food Act. For more information refer to the:

Find out the market access requirements for your destination country

As an exporter you're responsible for knowing and meeting the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMAR) for your destination country. OMARs differ between countries and products, and set out requirements for all operators in your export chain – for example, processors, storage providers, and transporters.

You need to apply to MPI to read the egg OMARs because they're password protected.  

Search for your OMAR

When you have your password, you'll be able to read the OMARs for your products.

Read the OMAR for your destination country thoroughly to make sure you can comply with all the requirements.

If your export destination has an OMAR you'll likely need an 'official assurance', also known as an export certificate, before you can send your product. Official assurance is the New Zealand Government's assurance to the destination country that your product meets the standards set out in the OMAR.

More information

Other information you should check includes:

Guidance offered by FYIs can help you with exporting concerns or issues. (You may need your OMAR password to read some FYIs.)

OMAR notifications will give you the latest updates for your destination country.

Exporting to a country with no OMAR

If there is no OMAR for your export destination, work directly with your importing agent to find out about certification and any other requirements. If an import permit is required, the permit will outline the requirements. 

Note that if there is no OMAR, it could mean your product is prohibited from being sent to that country.

Some destinations that don't need official assurances may instead require a free sales certificate (FSC), or a free sales advice statement (FSAS).

Find out if your premises need to be approved

Some countries require premises to be approved, or 'listed', before you can export your products. 'Listing' is a procedure agreed between governments for ensuring that a country's market access requirements are met and products are produced in premises approved to export to that country. Your OMAR will tell you if you need to be listed, and the process to follow.

Operating under a risk management programme (RMP)

All primary processors and others who need to get an official assurance for exporting eggs or egg products must produce and/or process them under a registered and verified risk management programme (RMP). Other suppliers in your export chain – for example, storage providers, processors, and transporters – also need to operate under an approved programme. Information in the RMP will form part of your application for official assurance.

RMPs help you manage hazards, ensure your products are fit for purpose, and meet legal requirements. If at any point the eggs or egg products are processed, transported, or stored outside of a registered RMP, you can't get an official assurance and your eggs or egg products will lose their eligibility for export.

You are responsible for developing your RMP. Use the following templates and guidelines to help you develop your RMP.

Develop your RMP using a template

If you are an egg primary processor you can use the 'fill in the blanks' RMP template that we've created. The template is made up of these 4 documents.

To help you complete the template refer to the following documents:

Develop your own RMP

If you don't want to use the template, or you're a secondary processor, you'll need to write your own RMP. When you do this you must ensure that the requirements of all relevant legislation are met and the programme is shown to be effective.  

Register and verify your RMP

After developing your RMP you must register it, and get it verified each year. MPI Verification Services verifies RMPs.

Check other requirements are being met

Make sure other operators in your supply chain, like transport companies, wharf operators, and storage providers are meeting their requirements.

Apply for access to E-cert

E-cert is the web application MPI uses to issue official assurances (export certificates) for animal and dairy products that are exported from New Zealand. It is mandatory to use E-cert for some countries, and strongly recommended for all others. E-cert tracks products from the time they're produced until they're exported.

E-cert is password protected, and new exporters need to apply for access.

Download the form to register for access to E-cert

Your registration should be finalised within a week, providing all supplied information is correct and payments have been made. If you have questions about E-cert, email

Request an export certificate through E-cert

Once you are a registered user of E-cert you can access the password-protected website and apply for an official assurance (export certificate) for your consignment.

The information you enter about your eggs or egg products and the declarations you make will confirm that your product complies with requirements. 

If you're exporting another manufacturer's products, you may need their help to complete the E-cert applications.

Are you using wood packaging?

If you use wood packaging products – other than paper  for your export product, check your wood packaging meets the phytosanitary requirements of the destination country. Most countries require you to treat your wood packaging to make sure it's free of pests and diseases.  

Step 3
Getting your export documentation

How you know you've met MPI requirements.

When MPI is satisfied that your eggs or egg products comply with all requirements and standards, we issue the official assurance (export certificate) through E-cert.

The official assurance can be provided for your consignment in various ways. Check the OMAR of your destination country and the Official Assurances Specifications for more information.

Refer to the official assurance specifications [PDF, 676 KB]

When to alert MPI

As an exporter you have a legal responsibility to tell MPI within 24 hours if your eggs or egg products for export:

  • become unfit for their intended purpose
  • are refused entry by a foreign government
  • fail to meet relevant Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs)
  • don't have the required export documents – for example, if they have been removed or lost.

Contact MPI if your products don't conform to our export requirements. You can either use the export non-conformance report to alert MPI about any problems, or use your own form – as long as your notification contains all the necessary information.

Download the export non-conformance report [PDF, 124 KB]

Who to contact

If you have questions about export non-conformance, email

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