Approved Transitional Facility


ATF (Approved Transitional Facility)

ATF stands for Approved Transitional Facility, or to be more specific, it stands for MPI Approved Transitional Facility.

What is ATF(Approved Transitional Facility)?

What is ATF in New Zealand ?

ATF stands for Approved Transitional Facility, or to be more specific, it stands for MPI Approved Transitional Facility. It is a facility set up in New Zealand, with the function of inspecting and managing some specific goods imported into this country.


What is the relationship between ATF and MPI ?

In order to help you understand the purpose of establishing ATF, we will explain what MPI is first. MPI refers to Ministry for Primary Industries, which takes responsibility for guarding bio-security in New Zealand. MPI delegates and empowers the approved transitional facilities to carry out their roles. And MPI will review every approved transitional facility at least once a year to evaluate how well their job gets done.


Why would ATF exist ?

New Zealand values bio-security and has enacted stringent bio-security laws. Why is it? Throughout the years, New Zealand has evolved into a country free of pests and diseases found somewhere else. It really gives NZ an edge in primary sector production. Besides, the functioning-well bio-security system boosts NZ’s economy, environment, human health, and a range of social and cultural aspects. So NZ has treated bio-security with the most care and caution in the hope of maintaining its lead. And ATF takes an active part in the enforcement process, conducting inspections to keep out unwanted pests and diseases.


What will happen when containers enter NZ ?

In the practical importing process, after specific containers unload at ports in New Zealand, they will be sent to an ATF site for subsequent inspections. Imported containers will be unpacked at the ATF site, and products will get delivered to the final detailed address when they go through compliance inspections. In addition to receiving containers, ATF has the right to identify, hold, destroy, and dispose of goods carrying risks.


What types of products should meet ATF standards ?

Imports carrying potential risks will undergo inspections at the ATF when brought into New Zealand. These imports include:

Food products

Products made from wood or plant

Animals or animal products

Agricultural chemicals



Veterinary medicines

Sea containers

Used machinery or vehicles

Products associated with bio-security risks


Here is how the import procedures work for the above types of goods:

1. If you are an importer, you may need to get your products treated beforehand. Targeted risk goods without treatment will be denied entry into New Zealand. Find suited treatment options on the official website of MPI, and get yourself a registered and approved treatment provider in New Zealand.

2. You need to find a MPI approved transitional facility. Browse a list of ATF on the MPI official website. Most ATF are approved for certain types of goods. So make sure that you get all the information right.

3. Import Health Standards (IHS) plays an important role in the importing process. The IHS states all the compliance requirements to be met for smooth importing. Different types of goods have their own IHS. Find relevant information on the MPI website.

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