MRLs for pesticides are established in most countries to safeguard consumer health and to promote Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in the use of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and other agricultural compounds. Before you can export food to many countries, you must comply with the MRLs they have set. This is a condition of market access.

Exported  plant products must meet trading partner MRLs.

The MPI pesticide MRL database identifies the residue limits set by destination countries.     You can search by three main aspects:  

  • country    
  • crop    
  • pesticide.

Please note that MPI  does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this database. You should also check the relevant national legislation before exporting your products. You can find links to the websites of many countries on the page, MRLs around the world


Exporting plant products to Australia

If you export plant products to Australia, you must comply with either:

  • the New Zealand MRL Standards (see below)
  • Standard 1.4.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code


Food grown and sold in New Zealand

All plant products grown or imported for sale in NZ must comply with New Zealand's MRL Standards.

If you grow or process plant products for sale in New Zealand, you must comply with the New Zealand Standards for MRLs in agricultural compounds.

The Standards:

  • list the MRLs for a range of agricultural compounds in food
  • specify a default residue limit of 0.1 mg/kg (or parts per million) for a food or compound that is not listed
  • identify compounds for which MRLs are not required
  • recognise Codex MRLs for imported food.


Labs for MRL testing

There are two analytical laboratories in New Zealand that are recognised for  analysis of MRL