Security devices for animal products

If you export animal products, including dairy, you must use security devices such as brands, legend materials, carton and container seals.

Security devices – what they are

There are several kinds of security devices, which are officially controlled and approved by MPI:

  • legend materials, such as a reduced-size official assurance legend printed on packaging material – this confirms that the products inside the packaging have been inspected and are fit for purpose
  • brands, which are a device for applying an official assurance legend directly onto animal products by using approved ink or heated metal
  • carton seals, which display the New Zealand coat of arms and the operator’s official assurance legend, and provide evidence that the cartons have not been tampered with
  • container seals, that are used to secure the doors or other closures of cargo containers, ships holds and the like, and are used to support official assurances or transfer documentation.

When security devices are required

Security devices are required only for animal products including dairy. They are used when the products are manufactured, stored or transported in New Zealand and exported to a destination country. As well as meeting the New Zealand requirements, some destination countries have additional requirements for security devices.

The New Zealand requirements are described in General Requirements for Export (GREX) and other notices and guidance. The requirements for each destination country or market are described in the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs).

Legislative requirements for security devices

The requirements for security devices are set out Notices, administrative requirements and guidance issued under the Animal Products Act 1999. 


If you process, store or transport animal products that intended for export, you must meet the requirements set out in 2 Notices.

The Animal Products (Export Requirements for Branding, Marking and Security Devices) Notice 2006 describes the different kinds of seals, sets out procedures for managing security devices on exported products and explains the approval requirements for manufacturers and suppliers of security devices.

The link to the Notice also includes guidance documents to help you comply with requirements.

You can find the requirements associated with branding in the following Notice.


For exporters of meat, ostrich, emu and game, Meat Manual 15 forms part of the interim requirements. It provides further details on how to meet the requirements of the Animal Products Notices.

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