Electronic certification (E-cert)
When you export plant products or animal products, they often must be accompanied by appropriate certification. The majority of certificates are issued through MPI’s E-cert system.
What E-cert is
E-cert is the shortened name for Electronic Certification. E-cert is the web application MPI uses to issue government-to-government assurances for animal and dairy products exported from New Zealand.
E-cert supports New Zealand’s international credibility and therefore is an important tool for the export sector.
There are 2 E-cert systems for different kinds of food products. These are:
- Animal Products E-cert (AP E-cert) – used for issuing export certificates for animal products including meat, seafood, game, poultry, eggs, petfood, bee products, hides, wool and skins, and dairy products
- ePhyto used for exporting plant products.
E-cert's role in exporting
The primary purpose of E-cert is to:
- track the market eligibility and status of food products from the time they are produced until they are exported
- approve and print export certificates.
Most food products exported from New Zealand must be accompanied by an approved export certificate. Export certification is supported by the MPI verification regime, which confirms the compliance of products and premises with New Zealand's and destination country requirements. An approved export certificate is provided to the appropriate border agency of the destination country – in either electronic and/or paper form – to facilitate border clearance into that country.
Electronic certification is a mechanism to:
- increase the robustness of the pre-certification verification checks, by keeping verification information in one place
- improve the efficiency of the export certification process
- reduce the total cost of verification and certification
- significantly reduce the risk of errors
- reduce the likelihood of fraud – because paper certificates can be fraudulently used, providing border authorities with access to E-cert means they can validate the certificates online, which significantly improves the detection of fraudulent certificates
- offer the ability to rapidly respond to changing market requirements
- provide a means to improve the quality and range of data from which government and industry can make strategic decisions.
Getting help with E-cert and export requirements
The regulatory requirements you need to meet to prepare your products for export depend on the type of product and the destination market. You can find out about the requirements by visiting the section for your food sector.
You can find out more about verification plans and programmes in the General requirements section of the site.
You can obtain detailed information about using Animal Products E-cert by clicking on the relevant pages in the left-hand menu.