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Importing or manufacturing agrichemicals, timber treatments, vertebrate toxic agents, anti-fouling paints and household pesticides

​Agrichemicals, timber treatments, vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs) and anti-fouling paints that are hazardous substances require an approval under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act before they can be imported or manufactured in New Zealand.

Agrichemical products include:

  • pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides)
  • hormones
  • other chemical growth agents.

Timber treatment chemicals include:

  • antisapstains
  • copper-chromium-arsenic salts
  • light organic solvent preservatives (LOSPs)
  • boron salts 
  • alkyl ammonium preservatives.

VTAs are products that are designed to kill or control vertebrate pests such as rabbits and possums.

Anti-fouling paints are substances applied as coatings to underwater surfaces with the purpose of preventing the accumulation (biofouling) of aquatic organisms.

Note: Fertilisers are covered by a group standard approval.

To find out whether or not your product is covered by an existing approval or a new approval is required, follow the steps listed below. 

Step 1: Is your product hazardous?

  • Determining the hazardous properties of a substance

If your substance does not contain a new active ingredient we can determine its hazardous properties for you. Just apply for a section 26 determination.

If your substance does not have any hazardous properties, it is exempt from the HSNO Act and you do not have to take any further action.

If your substance is hazardous then proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: How will it be used? 

For research and development, including field trials, a containment approval is required.

  • Read about making an application for a containment approval

Importation or manufacture in a laboratory may be exempt from requiring a HSNO approval.

  • Read about exempt laboratory requirements

For release in New Zealand, go to Step 3.

Step 3: Is it already approved?

If your substance contains the same active ingredient as an approved substance and has the same classification and use as that substance, it may be covered by the existing approval. You can check whether your product may be covered by an existing approval by looking at our register.

Formal advice on whether or not your product is also already covered by an existing approval in New Zealand is also provided as part of section 26 determinations.

If your product is not covered by an existing approval, an application for an approval must be made. Go to step 4.

Step 4: What application do you need to make?

If your product contains active ingredients that are new to New Zealand, your substance may be eligible for rapid assessment if it meets the least degrees of hazard criteriaIf your substance is not eligible for rapid assessment, a full assessment is required.

If your product contains active ingredients that are present in existing substances in New Zealand, it may be eligible for rapid assessment if it has a similar composition or has a reduced hazard compared to another substance that is already approved or meets the least degrees of hazard criteria.

For information about the forms, fees and processes, see:

To  apply for approval to use a hazardous substance in containment (e.g. as an analytical standard, research and development, or for export only) see:


For all other approvals and certificates required for hazardous substances, see: