Approval to import or manufacture a substance in a contained location

If you are importing or manufacturing a hazardous substance in a contained location in New Zealand, you need a containment approval.

Containment approvals cover the manufacture or import of a hazardous substance for:

  • research and development of a hazardous substance
  • use as an analytical standard where approval to import or manufacture the substance has been declined, or the substance is a persistent organic pollutant (POP)
  • formulating, relabelling, repackaging or storing a hazardous substance for export to a destination outside New Zealand.

A containment approval is for a specific purpose, such as the use of a chemical as a test standard or a field trial of a pesticide. The key condition is that the substance will be contained adequately. 

Note: If you intend to import or manufacture a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) to be used as an analytical standard or for research in any laboratory, then you'll need a different application form (provided in the last section of this page).

Important: If you intend to use or release the substance outside of the contained area, you must make an application for a release approval.

More information about release approval applications

How to apply for a containment approval

To make an informed decision about your containment application, we need to understand how you intend to manage the substance or substances you are seeking approval for. Please fill out the Containment approval application form, and include full details about the containment system you intend to use and the substances you intend to test.

Send your application to us at the EPA by e-mail to, or post it to us at: Environmental Protection Authority, Private Bag 63002, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.

Containment approval application form (docx 370KB)

Confidential appendix for hazardous substances applications (docx 360KB)

The process

Applications for a containment approval are processed via the non-notified application pathway. This means we do not notify the general public about the application. Your application will be processed within 30 working days between the formal receipt of your application (it will be assigned an application number), and the paperwork going to the decision maker.

Apply for approval to import or manufacture persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in a contained location

Under the HSNO Act, a containment approval must be obtained from us by any laboratory that currently holds, or wishes to import or manufacture, certain POPs for use as an analytical standard or for research. These POPs include:

Aldrin Endrin Pentachlorobenzene
Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane Heptachlor Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid; its salts
Beta hexachlorocyclohexane Hexabromobiphenyl Perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride
Chlordane Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether Technical endosulfan and its related isomers
Chlordecone Hexachlorobenzene Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether
DDT (1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(chlorophenyl)ethane) Lindane Toxaphene
Dieldrin Mirex Polychlorinated biphenyls
How to apply

Laboratories that currently hold, or intend to import or manufacture, one or more of the POPs listed above must complete the application form below and send it back to us for assessment. All relevant sections of the application form must be completed, and you must provide a management plan which outlines how your laboratory intends to comply with the recommended controls. (A list of recommended controls for containing these substances is provided in Appendix 1 of the form.)

The timeframe for processing applications is 30 working days, after which time you will be notified of our decision. 

POP containment approval application form (doc 506KB)