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Importing and manufacturing hazardous substances

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The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) sets the rules for anyone who wants to import or manufacture a hazardous substance. This page gives you information about those rules and what you need to do.

Hazardous substances are regulated under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

Many common products are hazardous substances

Many products imported and manufactured in New Zealand are regulated as hazardous substances. Paints, glues, garden sprays, pool chemicals, cleaning products and cosmetics, can all have hazardous properties and, if they do, are regulated as hazardous substances.

The top five rules you need to comply with

If you import or manufacture a hazardous substance (product), you are responsible for knowing its hazardous properties. You’re also responsible for making sure that you follow the rules. Some important things you need to do are:

 1. Provide the EPA with your business contact information

2. Make sure your product is approved for use in New Zealand

Find out whether your product is approved  

3. Make sure your product has a current safety data sheet

Read more about the New Zealand requirements for safety data sheets 

4. Make sure your product is correctly labelled

Read more about labelling hazardous substances in New Zealand

5. Make sure your product is packaged properly

Getting advice

To help you meet your obligations you may need to get technical assistance from us, at the EPA, or from an expert. 

You will need to provide some detailed information about the substance so that it can be correctly classified. The person you contact will tell you the information they will need to classify the substance correctly.

A good first step is to get a copy of the safety data sheet for that substance.

Contact the EPA for advice

We can provide you with legal advice about whether your substance is hazardous, the classification of the substance and whether it fits under an existing approval. This advice is called a Formal Determination. There is a fee for this service.

Read more or apply for a formal determination [EPA website]

Contact the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand

The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand, (HASANZ) is the umbrella organisation representing workplace health and safety professionals in New Zealand. If you need advice about hazardous substance you can email HASANZ or search their website.

Information about importing or manufacturing different types of hazardous substances

Workplace products

Process chemicals, solvents, paints, adhesives and cleaners.

Household products

Detergents, cleaners and soap powders.


Make-up, toiletries, sunscreens, oral and personal care products.

1080 - Sodium fluoroacetate

Import requirements for sodium fluoroacetate (1080).


Agrichemicals, timber treatments, vertebrate toxic agents and anti-fouling paints.

Veterinary medicines

Medicines used in the direct management of an animal.

Laboratory chemicals

Chemicals and substances used in the laboratory.


Fireworks, pyrotechnics, detonators, blasting explosives, gunpowder.

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