NZ Food Bill could cause export delays
New Zealand's proposed Food Bill would not only raise maximum fines for non-compliant companies to US$381,000 (NZ$500,000) but could also cause significant delays for exporters, Nzherald.co.nz reported.
The proposed legislation is aimed at replacing the country's 30-year-old Food Act and would require all edible exports to comply with New Zealand's labelling and manufacturing laws, which could lead to non-compliance in some overseas markets, the story reported.
Food & Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich told Nzherald.co.nz that under the proposd new law exporters could apply for exemptions for products that did not meet local requirements, but there would be delays.
"Time is money, and if a company gets a significant export order and it's for a product they don't currently have an exemption for, it could take six months to a year to get exemption," she was quoted as saying.
A spokesperson for Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson told the website the bill was actually meant to reduce case-by-case exemption applications.
The story reported the government intends to pass the bill this year.