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Do you need an approval?

seed packets

The HSNO Act regulates new organisms in New Zealand. A “new organism” includes one that was not present in New Zealand before July 29 1998, and a genetically modified organism. 

You will need to make an application if the organism you wish to import, develop, field test or release fits the definition of a new organism and is viable (capable of living, reproducing, or germinating under favourable conditions).

Further information about importation

If you want to import new organisms, a HSNO Act approval will be required. It does not matter if the new organisms will be imported as pure cultures, mixed cultures, or carried in biological samples or on commodities. If you cannot clearly identify the organism to be imported to species level or cannot find proof that the organism is not a “new organism”, please contact us.


Prohibited organisms cannot be given approval.



Is your organism new?

There are a number of databases that can help you determine if your organism is already present in New Zealand.

Approvals that you could use

There are some existing approvals for importing into containment that anyone can use providing conditions are met.

Plants or microbial products

Some advice if you want to import a new plant or microbial product.

Other approvals required?

You may also need approval from the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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