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Frequently Asked Questions

GOVERNANCE
Is HEA a government authority?
How many directors does HEA have?
What staff is the HEA required to have?
How many staff does HEA currently have?

FUNDING
How is HEA funded?
What is the HEA annual budget?

HEA  MEMBERSHIP
How many industry groups use the HEA system & why do they use it?
Are Product Groups outside the HEA subject to legislative requirements?

HEA STRUCTURE
What mechanisms does the HEA system have and why are they relevant?
How many licenced exporters are there?

EXPORT MARKETING STRATEGY (EMS)
What is typically in an EMS?
Can the HEA system (via the EMS) set minimum prices and restrict volume to a market?
Can an EMS include price reporting requirements on exporters?

LICENCES
What is the cost of an HEA licence?
Who can apply for a licence?
How do I get a licence Application Form?
So do I just have to complete an Application Form and pay the fees, or are there any other requirements to apply for a licence?
If I am granted a HEA licence do I have to register with the relevant Product Group?
The Licence Application Form includes a "Confirmation of the EMS". What does that mean?
How long does it take to get an HEA licence?
Does my Application Form get shared with the Product Group?
How long does a licence last?
What is a "Provisional" licence?
Does a "Provisional" licence get upgraded to a full licence?
Are there any additional costs for a "Provisional" licence?
Is a Provisional license holder prevented from accessing some markets?

EXEMPTIONS
What are exemptions?
What is the difference between a Licence and a License Exemption?
Are there any other restrictions on Exemptions?
What does it cost to get an HEA Exemption?
How long does it take to get an Exemption?
How do I get an Exemption Application Form?
If I get an HEA Exemption do I have to register with the Product Group?
What happens if I run out of exemption numbers?
I want to send a small package of HEA products as a gift to a friend or relative overseas. Do I need to apply for an Exemption from licensing?

EXEMPTIONS FROM THE EMS
What is an Exemption from the EMS?
What does it cost to get an EMS Exemption?
How long does it take to get an Exemption from the EMS?
How do I get an Exemption from the EMS Application Form?

 

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

 

 

GOVERNANCE

Is HEA a government authority?

The HEA was established as a statutory authority under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Act on 18 June 1987. It operates as a body corporate reporting to the Ministry for Primary Industries (formerly MAF). HEA initiated a review of the HEA Act in May 2010 to improve its appeal, effectiveness and net value to the horticulture sector. The amended HEA Act was finally given Royal Assent on 13 December 2016.

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How many directors does HEA have?

The HEA has 5 Board members.  The Chair and one Board member are appointed by Government.  Two Board members are nominated by the grower organization Horticulture NZ and one Board member is nominated by the Horticulture Exporters Council.

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What staff is the HEA required to have?

The Act requires the organisation to have a CEO.  Other officers and employees may be appointed as necessary to ensure the "efficient performance and exercise of the HEA's functions and powers".  The HEA also has the ability to contract specialist services.

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How many staff does HEA currently have?

Two - a CEO and one part-time administrator.


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FUNDING

How is HEA funded?

HEA is funded by 2 income streams:

  1. Licensed exporters:  Licence application fees ($2,500), annual monitoring & compliance fees ($1,500/licence)
  2. Product Group fees:  Each product group operating under the HEA structure pays a fee based on its Forex FoB earnings.

HEA receives no funding from Government.

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What is the HEA annual budget?

Over the past 3 years ending 30 September (2014 to 2016) annual operating costs ranged from $367,000 - $399,000. See the HEA Annual Reports.

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HEA  MEMBERSHIP

How many industry groups use the HEA system & why do they use it?

Product Group membership to the HEA structure is voluntary. Currently there are 10 Product Groups under HEA:

  • Avocado Industry Council
  • Blackcurrants NZ Inc
  • NZ Boysenberry Council*
  • NZ Buttercup Squash Council
  • NZ Chestnut Council
  • Kiwifruit to Australia Product Group
  • Persimmon Industry Council
  • Summerfruit New Zealand
  • NZ Tamarillo Export Council
  • NZ Truffle Association


These 10 HEA Product Groups exported a total of $283m in 2016. The 4 largest in order of Foreign Exchange (Forex) earnings (y.e. June 2016) were:

  1. Avocados ($84m)
  2. Summerfruit (apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches & plums ($75m)
  3. Buttercup Squash ($58m)
  4. Kiwifruit to Australia ($41m)

The groups use the HEA system for a variety of reasons that include the ability:
to apply minimum grade standards across the industry
to apply programmes to reduce risk to market access and undertake activities that benefit the development of the industry
to capture industry information that can assist with better industry planning and decision making
to provide an environment that encourages exporting co-operation and collaboration.

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Are Product Groups outside the HEA subject to legislative requirements?

The Kiwifruit industry operates under the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999 for all export markets other than Australia.  For the Australian market, the kiwifruit industry operates under the HEA structure.  All other product groups that are not in either the HEA or Kiwifruit export structures are only required to meet the phytosanitary requirements of the importing country.

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HEA STRUCTURE

What mechanisms does the HEA system have and why are they relevant?

The 2 key tools in the HEA Act are:

  1. The Export Marketing Strategy (EMS) – the product group's rules for exporting.
  2. The export licensing system – anyone wanting to export the product needs a licence and is required to meet the criteria.

Complying with the EMS and the export licensing conditions are required in order to export the products operating under the HEA structure.

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How many licensed exporters are there?

There are currently (as at May 2017) 79 licences held by 53 exporters across 7 product groups actively exporting.  Avocados have 14 licensed exporters, Kiwifruit to Australia 12, Buttercup Squash 10 and Summerfruit 23.  The remaining 3 product groups actively exporting account for the remaining 20 licences.

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EXPORT MARKETING STRATEGY (EMS)

What is typically in an EMS?

  1. Industry vision, goals/objectives & the programmes/methods the industry aims to apply to achieve those goals/objectives.
  2. Quality management programme: sets minimum quality/grade standard for export & incorporates the industry food safety programme. Most include labelling requirements.  They may include adherence to export pre-clearance programmes.
  3. Market Development Programme: market specific generic market development proposals to stimulate future demand.
  4. Information:  Collation of a range of industry information to assist with decision making.
  5. Requirements to register with the Product Group and comply with the rules for exporting as laid out in the EMS.
  6. Details of grower, packer & exporter responsibilities.

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Can the HEA system (via the EMS) set minimum prices and restrict volume to a market?

No. Section 26 of the Act specifically prevents limits being set on the volume of product that can be shipped to a market.  HEA's legal advice is that relying on regulatory powers to enforce minimum selling prices is highly likely to be WTO illegal. The HEA framework must be operated within international trade laws and be consistent with NZ Government policy.  NZ has been a strong advocate for importing countries removing minimum price support mechanisms, so to approve an EMS which included minimum prices would be inconsistent with this stance. An EMS can only include rules that are enforceable. Monitoring and enforcing minimum selling prices is complex and outside the scope of the HEA Act.

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Can an EMS include price reporting requirements on exporters?

Yes. We draw a distinction between reporting on sales values and setting minimum sales prices. A number of EMSs require exporters to report weekly on sales volumes by market segment and sales values reported as a range expressed in the local currency.  In collating this information the product group provides an undertaking to respect commercial sensitivities.

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LICENCES

What is the cost of an HEA licence?

If you do not already have any HEA licences, the application fee is $2,500.00 plus GST.
OR if you already have at least one HEA licence, the application fee for an additional licence is $500.00 plus GST.
AND there is in addition an annual Monitoring & Compliance fee of $1,500.00 plus GST per licence.

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Who can apply for a licence?

Exporters who want to export HEA Products.

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How do I get a licence Application Form?

You can download an Application Form from this website. - See Forms and Fees.

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So do I just have to complete the Application Form and pay the fees, or are there any other requirements to apply for a licence?

There are other requirements:

  1. The applicant must be domiciled in New Zealand.
  2. an applicant is required to prove they are "of sound financial standing" – so the HEA requires them to confirm their equity investment in exporting via a minimum Paid-Up share capital of $100,000  or similar in the case of applications by partnerships. For further information contact the HEA directly.

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If I am granted a HEA licence do I have to register with the relevant Product Group?

Yes. All industry EMS documents are approved by the HEA and they require licensed exporters to register with the respective product group. There is usually an annual registration fee to be paid to the Product Group. Product Groups may also require payment of specific levys and usually have specific reporting and compliance requirements. You can check these out through this website: Go to Product Groups, select the one you are interested in and click on the "EMS" (Export Marketing Strategy). (You will need to enrol as a website member access the EMSs.)

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The Licence Application Form includes a "Confirmation of the EMS". What does that mean?

The EMS is a Product Group's Export Marketing Strategy or rules for exporting. When you sign the "Confirmation of EMS" that means you commit to comply with it. So prior to lodging an application, it is important that you read and understand this document. You can find Product Group EMSs on this website: Go to Product Groups. (You will need to enrol as a website member to access the EMSs.)

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How long does it take to get an HEA licence?

Once we have your Application Form we send a summary to the relevant Product Group for their recommendation before it goes to the HEA Board for decision. We try to process applications as soon as possible however, given the Product Group will want to meet with the applicant and discuss the application, it can take a month or two.

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Does my Application Form get shared with the Product Group?

No. But we do send a summary of your Application Form to the relevant Product Group so that they have information on which to base their recommendation. However if you give specific customer names (that you identify as commercially sensitive) they are not shared, and neither is your company financial information.

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How long does a licence last?

Five years, upon payment of the annual Monitoring & Compliance (M&C) fees.  Variations on the 5-year term would include where a licence holder opts to retire their licence before the end of 5 years by not paying the annual M&C fee, or if an exporter breaches the terms of a licence, the HEA may take action which could include suspending the licence.

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What is a "Provisional" licence?

Where an applicant lacks experience in exporting or in handling export product but otherwise satisfies the HEA's criteria, the HEA can exercise its discretion by issuing a "Provisional" licence while the applicant builds up the necessary export and/or international marketing experience. All licences have a 5-year life-span. A Provisional licence has special provisions or conditions attached to it for a minimum of 2 years (reviewable annually thereafter). The licensee is required to provide documentation of their performance and experience over this period for review by the HEA.

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Does a "Provisional" licence get upgraded to a full licence?

After 2 years the HEA Board will assess on the basis of that exporter's Provisional Licence Reports whether their licence should be upgraded to a full licence. If necessary this is assessed annually thereafter. So, if a provisional licence holder builds exporting experience in those first 2 years, the HEA may then opt to upgrade the licence to full for the remaining 3-year term of the licence.

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Are there any additional costs for a "Provisional" licence?

No.

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Is a Provisional licence holder prevented from accessing some markets?

No.

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EXEMPTIONS

What are exemptions?

There are 2 types of exemptions provided for in the Act:

  1. an exemption from the requirement to have a license (called a licence exemption),
  2. an exemption from the EMS exporting rules (called an EMS exemption).

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What is the difference between a Licence and a Licence Exemption?

A licence exemption allows for situations where it is not practical or appropriate to undergo the full licence application process. The general situation where someone may consider applying for a licence exemption is where they want to 'put a toe in the water' by exporting a small volume of product before committing to applying for a full licence.  It is relevant for small or 'one-off' exports.  The respective product groups will establish their policy on exemption volumes, but generally volumes exported under Exemption are limited to below 3,000kg per product per season.

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Are there any other restrictions on Exemptions?

Yes. Exemptions are restricted to certain markets for certain dates. There may be other limits set on Exemptions.

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What does it cost to get an HEA Exemption?

The Application fee for an Exemption is $250.00 plus GST.

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How long does it take to get an Exemption?

Once we have your Application Form we send a summary to the relevant Product Group for their recommendation before HEA makes a decision. We try to process applications quickly, but it can take a week or two.

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How do I get an Exemption Application Form?

You can download an Application Form from this website.

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If I get an HEA Exemption do I have to register with the Product Group?

Generally - yes. The requirements will be detailed in the EMS.

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What happens if I run out of Exemption numbers?

When an Exemption is approved, between 1 and 10 Exemption numbers are issued (depending on the number of shipments the applicant wants to make).  Each number can only be used once. You must complete an Exemption Usage Report and return it to HEA to show the volume and date of each shipment. If you run out of Exemption numbers before you have shipped up to the volume approved, we will issue you with further Exemption numbers (at no additional charge). 

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I want to send a small package of HEA products as a gift to a friend or relative overseas. Do I need to apply for an Exemption from licensing?

No.  Licences are for exporting activity for the purpose of sale and exporting does not include product samples, gifts of product or product as part of the personal baggage of a passenger.

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EXEMPTIONS FROM THE EMS

What is an Exemption from the EMS?

An exemption from the rules applying to exporting.  Who can apply for an Exemption from the EMS?
Only an HEA licensed exporter.

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What does it cost to get an EMS Exemption?

The Application fee for an Exemption from the EMS is $250.00 plus GST.

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How long does it take to get an Exemption from the EMS?

Once we have your Application Form we send a summary to the relevant Product Group for their recommendation before it goes to the HEA Board for decision. We try to process applications quickly, but it can take a matter of days or up to a week or two (depending on the nature of the exemption request).

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How do I get an Exemption from the EMS Application Form?

You can download an Application Form from this website. - Go to Forms and Fees.

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ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

Contact us on 04 918 1964 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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