The export and import of certain chemicals is controlled due to their possible use as chemical weapons or for making chemical weapons. Some other chemicals are controlled because they have or could have other military uses.

Which chemicals need a permit?

The Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1996 and the Customs and Excise Act 1996 prohibit the export and import of chemicals which could be used as chemical weapons or chemical weapons precursors, unless a permit has been obtained from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As part of the Chemical Weapons Convention monitoring process, New Zealand is obliged to report transfers (both imports and exports) of CWC scheduled goods to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Chemical Weapon Convention — Schedule 1 chemicals

These are the most tightly controlled chemicals. The schedule primarily consists of chemical warfare agents and their precursor chemicals, none of which are produced in New Zealand.

The import of these chemicals is restricted to research, medical, pharmaceutical or chemical incident identification (i.e. response) purposes.

List of Schedule 1 chemicals

Chemical Weapon Convention — Schedule 2A toxic chemicals and 2B precursor chemicals

These are dual-use chemicals, used and traded for routine commercial purposes in New Zealand.

All Schedule 2A chemicals are controlled. A Schedule 2B chemical is controlled if:

  • it constitutes more than 10% (by weight) of a mixture, or
  • if the mix contains more than one Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 chemical.

List of Schedule 2 chemicals

Chemical Weapon Convention — Schedule 3A toxic chemicals and Schedule 3B  precursor chemicals

These are dual-use chemicals, more commonly used and traded for routine commercial purposes in New Zealand. A Schedule 3A or 3B chemical is controlled if:

  • it constitutes more than 10% (by weight) of a mixture or
  • if the mix contains more than one Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 chemical.

List of Schedule 3 chemicals 

Are there any other chemicals that may be controlled?

Yes. Other than Chemical Weapon Convention scheduled chemicals there are controls on: (external link)

What can't I do?

The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the transfer of Schedule 1 and 2 chemicals to countries/territories which are not party to the Chemical Weapono Convention.

Full list of countries party to the Chemical Weapon Convention (external link)

What is a CAS number?

'CAS' - represents the identification number given to chemicals in relation to a chemical compound.

It is the registry number assigned to that compound by the Chemical Abstracts Service, Columbus, Ohio, in the US, and is published by that service in the journal 'Chemical Abstracts'.

How do I apply?

To import or export chemicals you need to complete an application form.

Importing chemicals

Each shipment importing chemicals requires a separate permit, although more than one type of chemical can be imported at the same time if it is a part of the same shipment consignment.

There are no general, mulitple or temporary permits. End-user certificates are not required.

Import of Scheduled Chemicals - application form [PDF, 1.2 MB]

You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader PDF view to open the forms.

Download Adobe Reader PDF viewer  (external link)

Exporting Chemicals

Each shipment exporting chemicals requires a separate permit.

More than one type of chemical can be exported at the same time if it is a part of the same shipment consignment.

There are no general, multiple or temporary permits.

Exported chemicals need an end-user certificate, although MFAT may be willing to waive this requirement where the chemicals are being exported to a distributor, or to a branch of the same company.

Export of Scheduled Chemicals- application form [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Exported chemicals end-user certificate [XLS, 69 KB]

You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader PDF view to open the forms.

Download Adobe Reader PDF viewer  (external link)

Where do I send the application?

Send the completed and signed application form to the Export Controls Office of MFAT.

Email: exportcontrols@mfat.govt.nz

Fax: +64 (0)4 439 8519

Mail: Export Controls International and Security and Disarmament Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Private Bag 18-901

Wellington 5045

Contact us if you have any questions

How long will it take and does it cost?

MFAT is conscious that exporters and importers require quick and clear decisions. You can help us to provide a fast response to your application by ensuring that all the required information is supplied and that it is accurate.

Routine applications — 10 working days

We aim to process routine applications for permits within 10 working days.

Non-routine applications — up to six weeks

Non-routine applications (applications where the destination country is potentially problematic) may take up to six weeks or longer. Early contact with MFAT is advised.

Chemical Weapon Conventions Schedule 1 permit — apply at least 40 days prior to shipment date

Applications to import Chemical Weapon Conventions Schedule 1 chemicals must be received by MFAT at least 40 days prior to the anticipated shipment date.

This advance notification is required because the transfer must be notified to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which implements the Chemical Weapon Convention internationally, at least 30 days in advance.

No charge for a permit

There is no charge for a permit.

How your application is assessed

Applications to export controlled goods are considered on a case-by-case basis.  

Find out how your application will be assessed

Amendment and renewal of permits

You can request to amend a current permit. Email the request to us and attach a copy of the permit that you want to be amended.

Where a permit has expired it must be renewed by submitting a new application.

Our email address is exportcontrols@mfat.govt.nz.

Transiting chemicals through New Zealand

If you are transiting controlled chemicals through New Zealand, you will need to apply for an import permit and an export permit from MFAT.

Specific Chemical Weapons Convention requirements prohibit the retransfer of Schedule 1 chemicals.

In practice, this means that Schedule 1 chemicals imported into New Zealand may not be retransferred to a third country.

Import of Scheduled Chemicals - application form

Export of Scheduled Chemicals - application form 

You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader PDF view to open the forms.

Download Adobe Reader PDF viewer  (external link)