Psychoactive substances regulation

Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 (the Act) commenced on 18 July 2013. The Act regulates the importation, manufacture and supply of psychoactive substances, which are the active ingredients in party pills, energy pills and herbal highs. The purpose of the Act is to help protect the health and minimise harm to individuals using psychoactive products.

The Act established the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority (the Authority) within the Ministry of Health. The Authority is responsible for ensuring products meet adequate safety requirements before they can be distributed in New Zealand. It also licenses importers, researchers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014

The Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act 2014 (the Amendment Act) came into effect on 8 May 2014. The Amendment Act gives effect to the Government’s decision to introduce legislation ending interim product approvals and interim retailer and wholesaler licences granted under the Act. Key Amendment Act Documents relating to the decision to end the interim regulatory regime can be found on this page.

As of 12:01am on 8 May 2014, the Amendment Act revoked all interim product approvals and all interim retail and wholesale licences with immediate effect. Under section 88 of the Psychoactive Substances Act, the Authority issued an urgent recall of all products that had interim product approval. Substances which previously were the subject of a Temporary Class Drug Notice are now considered unapproved psychoactive substances under the Act 2013 until further classified. The Recall Order can be found on this page.

The Authority contacted all members of the industry regarding their specific obligations under the amended legislation.

The issuing of notice of this action on the Ministry of Health website is deemed service of recall order as required in the Amendment Act.

For further information please refer to Psychoactive substances – frequently asked questions.

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