Want to import or manufacture agrichemicals, timber treatments, vertebrate toxic agents, anti-fouling paints or household pesticides? Learn how here.

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.

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. 

Types of pesticides

As all these substances are designed to be biocidal, they will trigger at least one hazard classification – 9.1D biocidal classification.

Agrichemical products

These include:

Timber treatment chemicals

These include:

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

Vertebrate Toxic Agents 

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

Anti-fouling paints

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


Fertilisers are covered by a group standard approval and are not classed as biocides.

Step 1: How will it be used? Plus

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

Importation or manufacture in a laboratory may be exempt from requiring a HSNO approval if it remains in there.

If you want to be able to use it freely in New Zealand, move forward to the next step.

Step 2: Is it already approved? Plus

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.

If you would like a wider search, visit the ACVM 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.

Step 3: What application do you need to make? Plus

If your product contains active ingredients that are present in existing substances in New Zealand, it may be eligible for rapid assessment. This will be the case 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.

If your substance is not eligible for rapid assessment or contains active ingredients that are new to New Zealand, a full assessment is required.