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Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO)

The purpose of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 is to protect the environment, and the health and safety of communities, by preventing or managing the adverse effects of hazardous substances and new organisms.

The HSNO Act has been in force for new organisms since 29 July 1998. It has applied to hazardous substances since 2 July 2001. Since then, there has been a transitional period during which people have been able to import, manufacture and use hazardous substances under the controls required by earlier legislation. The implementation of new HSNO controls is being staged, with the process to be completed by the end of June 2006.

The HSNO Act is administered by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA).

The Department of Labour’s role is to ensure that the HSNO Act is complied with in places of work. The Department carries out this role in conjunction with a number of other agencies, including Maritime New Zealand, CAA, LTSA and territorial authorities.