In several sectors, importers of goods into New Zealand need to provide test certificates that certify that the goods meet a particular product standard adopted, and required, by New Zealand authorities. The laboratory undertaking the testing must be IANZ-accredited for the particular tests, or for overseas laboratories, must have an equivalent accreditation i.e. accredited by an accreditation body that is a full signatory partner to the ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) MRA (Mutual Recognition Arrangement).
Unfortunately, some test certificates originating from offshore presented in support of import certification have shown to be fraudulent. IANZ offers a service, usually by international liaison with our ILAC MRA partners, to establish the authenticity and validity of test certificates issued by overseas laboratories. There is a nominal fee of $199 (GST inclusive) per test certificate for this service. Importers are need to forward their test certificate to IANZ for review, after which payment is requested.
It is important that the importer insist the overseas test certificate or report carry the symbol (logo) of the ILAC MRA signatory accreditation body that has accredited the issuing laboratory. IANZ is then readily able to refer the report to the appropriate ILAC MRA partner. Test certificates that do not carry any such endorsement are unlikely to be recognised by IANZ nor any acceptance documentation issued.
To search for full member ILAC MRA signatories,please use the ILAC MRA Signatory Search.
(includes finger paints,children’s crayons and children’s water colour paints)
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) provides information regarding the rules that apply to the manufacture, import and sale of graphics materials in New Zealand under the Graphic Materials Group Standard.
The EPA link also provides access to the Graphic Materials Group Standard 2020, which outlines the rules and acceptable test methods, giving information on leachable metal limits for compliance in New Zealand.
Laboratory test results for graphics materials intended for use by children must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) at GraphicMaterials@epa.govt.nz. The EPA will confirm whether the substance complies with the Group Standard, which sets limits on the maximum amount of leachable metal that can be present in these types of graphics material. If the test certificate is from overseas, then the EPA will refer the importer to IANZ to determine if testing has been performed by a laboratory accredited (for the specific approved methods in the Group Standard) by an accreditation body recognised by IANZ.
ILAC MRA partner symbols (logos) commonly seen on test certificates in support of imported graphic materials include (but are not limited to):
The authenticity and validity of the test certificate is established by IANZ, after which the required acceptance document is produced and forwarded to the importer to refer to the EPA. The process may be as short as a few days or up to a few weeks depending on the response from overseas parties (ILAC MRA partners and testing laboratories).
Tips for checking over test reports to see if they are likely to be acceptable to IANZ:
Face paints are not covered by the Graphic Materials Group Standard 2020 but are regulated under the Cosmetic Products Group Standard.
Graphic materials which don’t fit the scope of this Group Standard, i.e., are not finger paints, children’s crayons or children’s water colour paints, may fit within the scope of other relevant Surface Coatings and Colourants Group Standards.