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New Process For Import Health Standards Mooted

Media Statement
28 April 2005

New Process For Import Health Standards Mooted

The Government is proposing a new and more transparent process by which work on Import Health Standards - the rules under which products enter New Zealand - will be prioritised, Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He said high demand for Import Health Standards has led to growing pressure on Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry resources. A new management and funding option for Import Health Standard work is being considered to deal with a backlog of applications.

Mr Sutton today published a discussion document outlining proposed changes, and invited comment from interested parties by Friday 24 June 2005.

The proposed system will prioritise requests for Import Health Standards each year after consultation with applicants and other stakeholders. This will allow MAF to direct its resources to the highest priority areas, and to give applicants increased certainty about when their applications will be processed.

A new funding option for Import Health Standards has also been proposed. Under this proposal, the Crown will continue funding Import Health Standard work where it is justified from a public good perspective.

Applicants will also have the option of funding development of an Import Health Standard themselves. This will potentially allow MAF to progress Import Health Standards that would otherwise not receive Crown funding, while allowing MAF to retain control over how such work was undertaken so as to ensure that it remains robust to domestic and international scrutiny.

The review of Import Health Standard funding and management comes out of a broader review of biosecurity funding, which identified Import Health Standard work as an area where greater industry involvement appeared appropriate.

The discussion document and other information on the funding review and consultation are available on MAF's website at:

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