First, we verify a permit is needed
The Export Controls team will first verify that your export is controlled and not subject to exemptions. If you do not need a permit we will let you know.
We may seek more information where necessary
As part of the assessment process, we may need to supplement the information you provided us in your permit application.
Where the goods to be exported and the export destination are well understood we aim to make decision on whether the application will be approved or declined within within ten working days.
For more complex applications the Export Controls team will seek input from regional experts within MFAT's international divisions. This may include input from staff at post in in overseas embassies, and their local contacts. We may also reach out to other agencies within New Zealand and internationally.
If your application is more complex, or if it is missing information we need, we will be in contact to talk about what further detail or documentation you may be able to provide. Complex applications include those where the destination of the export is difficult, the exported items are difficult, or there may be potential issues around entities receiving them.
We use six criteria to make an assessment
At the same time as we gather information, we begin our assessment. This assessment is based on the following six criteria.
Criterion 1: Consistency with Aotearoa New Zealand’s disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation obligations, commitments and policies;
Criterion 2: Consistency with Aotearoa New Zealand’s obligations, commitments and policies regarding fundamental principles of international law, as well as international human rights law and international humanitarian law;
Criterion 3: Consistency with Aotearoa New Zealand’s other international obligations, commitments and policies;
Criterion 4: Whether the export may compromise Aotearoa New Zealand’s national interests including, without limitation: security, international relationships, international reputation and obligations under The Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi;
Criterion 5: The impact the export is expected to have on peace, security and stability;
Criterion 6: Whether the export may undermine confidence in Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to being a responsible exporter of strategic and military end-use goods.
Click each of the criterion links above to read guidance on the assessment made under that particular criterion. You may also find it useful to read the explanation on how the criteria is applied as a whole.
Where necessary, we consult with senior officials and Ministers
The Export Controls team may determine that the decision on whether to issue a permit requires consultation with MFAT senior officials. In some cases Ministers will be consulted or informed.
Where this occurs we will generally contact you and talk you through what is happening. Exporters have told us in the past that they appreciate the assurance that comes with having issues considered at the highest levels. Only a small number of applications involve issues that need to be escalated, however when this occurs it is likely to extend the amount of time it takes to make decision on your permit.