Steps to exporting

Whether you're making wine to export yourself, making it under contract for an exporter, or buying it from a winemaker for export, you must comply with the Wine Act 2003. Find out what you need to do in the steps below.

Follow the steps

Step 1
What you need to know

An overview of wine exporting from start to finish.

If you're exporting wine produced by someone else, there's a different process to follow:

A list of the key things you need to consider before you start

Under the Wine Act 2003 exporters must:

  • comply with relevant standards and requirements
  • make sure the wine is made under a registered Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP)
  • ensure wine meets export eligibility requirements and an eligibility statement is issued
  • meet the requirements of your destination market
  • comply with labelling requirements
  • apply for export documentation where required
  • let MPI know if you have any non-compliance or market access issues.

You will need to get export eligibility approval for every batch of wine you export. You must use Wine E-Cert to apply for export eligibility approval.

Note, export eligibility requirements don’t apply to commercial samples of up to 110 litres. Ensure those samples are clearly marked "not for sale."

Read the New Zealand Grape Wine Export Eligibility Requirements Notice [PDF, 71 KB]

See an example Export Eligibility Statement [PDF, 436 KB]

Record-keeping for export wine

For traceability purposes, you must record the following details for each lot or batch of wine:

  • the Wine Standards Management Plans ID number/s the wine was made under. There may be more than one if, for example, it was produced under one plan and bottled under another.
  • documents that show you comply with relevant overseas market access requirements
  • the quantity, storage location and package type
  • the person or business you sold the wine to.

Organic wine

If you export organic wine, you may also need to register as an organic exporter, depending on your destination markets.


Step 2
What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete.

Have a registered Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP)

If you want to export wine it must be made and packaged under a Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP). Your WSMP must be registered with MPI and then verified by an approved verifier every 12 months.

If you are exporting wine made by someone else, you don't need your own registered WSMP, but the wine producer and packager do need one.

See the six steps to creating your wine standards management plan [PDF, 36 KB]

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Check market requirements

Some countries also have special requirements that you have to meet. These include labelling and official assurance requirements, and rules about oenological (winemaking) practices. You need to check the overseas market access requirements (OMARs) for your destination country.

MPI also provides export documentation for some other destination markets.

Find out more about:

Get access to Wine E-Cert

All New Zealand grape wine export applications are handled through the online portal Wine E-Cert, run by Wine Export Certification Services (WECS).

This is a password-protected web service.

To get access to Wine E-Cert for your company and for company users, you'll need to fill out the user registration form, then follow the process outlined in the guide for accessing Wine E-Cert.  

Download the (WA10) Wine E-Cert Company and User Registration Form [PDF, 347 KB]

Download the accessing Wine E-Cert guide [PDF, 918 KB]

Once you've registered, you can access Wine E-Cert.

If you need to change your user access details or add new users to an existing company for Wine E-Cert, you need to fill in a form for your amendments and send it to the address on the form.

Download the (WA11) Wine E-Cert User Amendments application form [PDF, 236 KB]

 Access to Wine E-Cert is managed according to the Wine E-Cert Access Control Policy.

Apply for export eligibility approval for your batch of wine

Use Wine E-Cert to apply for export eligibility approval for each batch of New Zealand grape wine.

For each batch of wine, you'll need to provide:

  • details of the wine
  • information about your intended destination market(s)
  • confirmation of your wine's compliance with the requirements of your destination market.

Submit samples

For each batch of wine, you must submit 2 samples to WECS. An independent panel makes a sensory evaluation of one sample to make sure it has no obvious faults. The second sample is held for reference and may be used in the random sampling programme.

To submit to the evaluation, create a sample on Wine E-Cert and send 2 physical samples to WECS with the following details on the label:

  • A WS number from Wine E-Cert
  • Your wine company's name
  • The vintage, variety and lot/batch code of the wine being tested.
Chemical testing samples

Some overseas markets require an official assurance certificate showing the chemical analysis of the wine. For these countries, a third sample must be sent to an MPI-recognised laboratory.

Create a sample on Wine E-Cert and request chemistry testing. Choose a recognised laboratory for testing export wine and send a physical sample with the following details on the label:

  • A WT number from the Wine E-Cert.
  • Your wine company's name.
  • The vintage, variety and lot/batch code of the wine being tested.

Laboratories charge fees for these services. You'll need to enter those costs when creating a sample on Wine E-Cert.

Eligible for export

Once your batch of wine has been approved as eligible for export to the relevant market, you will be able to include it in your consignment application.

Track progress online

You can track the application status of each New Zealand grape wine batch or consignment through Wine E-Cert.

Step 3
How you know you're ready to export

Getting your export documentation.

Apply for export documentation for your consignment

If you are exporting New Zealand grape wine, use Wine E-Cert to make a consignment application. The OMAR or destination market requirements will tell you what export documentation is needed for your consignment.

Export eligibility statement

Once your consignment application is complete, an export eligibility statement will be available for you to download from your Wine E-Cert page. A PDF of this document will also be emailed to you and to your freight forwarder. Without this statement your consignment won’t be able to clear customs in New Zealand.

You need an export eligibility statement for every consignment of wine you export. If you’re exporting someone else's wine, they'll need to apply for an export eligibility statement on your behalf. 

Official assurance

If you are exporting to a country that requires an official assurance certificate, a printed copy of this document will be posted to your freight forwarder. If the documentation is needed urgently you will be expected to arrange your own courier.

When to alert MPI

As an exporter you're responsible for telling MPI within 24 hours if your wine for export:

  • becomes unfit for purpose
  • is refused entry by a foreign government
  • fails to meet relevant Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs)
  • doesn't have the required export documents – they are removed or lost. 

Who to contact

If you have questions, email

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