New Zealand

New Zealand Merino wool: Shipping its products around the world

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Wool has traditionally played a significant role in the economy of New Zealand, the third largest wool producing nation in the world, as found by NZWTA Wool Testing. While wool can come from various breeds of animals, Merino wool from merino sheep, in particular, is highly sought after worldwide due to its exceptional quality, sustainability and versatility.

With the rise of athleisure and a growing appreciation for sustainable apparel production and clothing options, merino wool is fast becoming a favourite among discerning consumers and the fashion industry. As a result, classic brands alongside casual and sportswear fashion houses are incorporating Merino wool into garments from dresses to sweaters for a winning combination of style and performance, as reported on the Fashion Network.

For Merino wool manufacturers and businesses selling Merino wool products in New Zealand, this presents lucrative opportunities to capitalise on. But what if you’re new to the game and have no idea how to start your Merino wool export business? That's why we've put together this guide with tips on how to ship Merino wool and its related products from New Zealand to help you ensure a smooth and successful shipment every time.

What do I need to export Merino wool commodities?

Due to the potential risks of pests and diseases being carried by animal products, many international markets require official assurance from New Zealand authorities when shipments involve inedible animal products like wool. Therefore, checking the relevant customs regulations of New Zealand and your destination country before exporting Merino wool products is crucial.

1. New Zealand’s requirements

As a commercial exporter, you must register with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) by completing an online application or filling out a printed form. Before export, your Merino wool products should also be processed and stored in premises approved by the MPI by operators working under an Export Approved Premises (EAP) or a Risk Management Programme (RMP) registration.

2. Foreign requirements

To determine if your Merino wool product can be exported to your desired market and if you need an official assurance, refer to the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs). If an official assurance is required, you must register for an Animal Products E-cert (AP E-cert).

If your target market does not have an OMAR issued by MPI or your product is not covered by the existing OMAR, it is still your responsibility to ensure compliance with the destination market's rules. Seeking guidance from a logistics partner can help you navigate the regulations for your destination market.

Value of Merino wool shipments and how it impacts restrictions

Like imported goods, all exports must be declared. To do so, you must submit the export entry clearance documentation to the New Zealand Customs at least 48 hours before your Merino wool goods are scheduled to be loaded for export. These export entries are mandatory if:

  • Your product’s free-on-board (FOB) value is higher than NZ$1,000.

  • You are re-exporting your products and claiming a refund on the original duty paid.

Additionally, you will need to apply for a client code from New Zealand Customs as part of your export entry preparations.

How to store Merino wool clothing and products for export

While Merino wool is naturally resilient, preparing your products for shipping involves some heavy lifting. Firstly, the wool must be sorted into groups of the same quality and inspected to ensure that there are no impurities such as dirt, vegetation, or faeces.

When packing the wool products or clothing for shipment, do not compress it too tightly. You should also keep your products away from direct sunlight or contact with the ground, as wool can decompose quickly in warm, moist conditions and the soil. Moisture can also attract mould and bacteria, leading to discolouration and decreased durability of your wool and clothing.

Temperature control and monitoring during transit are crucial to ensure that wool remains undamaged. The ideal temperature for shipping wool is between 5 and 25 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the optimum level of humidity should be around 65%. Additionally, the moisture content of the wool needs to be about 17%.

When shipping Merino wool in high-humidity areas during the summer, you may also want to work with third-party logistics companies with humidity and temperature-controlled vehicles to minimise the risk of damage to your products and clothing.

Ship Merino wool safely with DHL Express

With the right preparation and last-mile logistics solution, exporting Merino wool commodities abroad can be profitable for wool production companies and businesses selling related products in New Zealand. If you're looking for a reliable and efficient international shipping partner, DHL Express New Zealand is here to help. 

We offer diverse shipping services to meet your varied business needs, from packaging and labelling to customs clearance services, speedy deliveries and temperature-controlled shipping solutions. With DHL Express, you can trust our expertise and global delivery network to deliver your products safely and promptly to their intended destinations. Create a business account with us today to leverage our services to advance your business.