Revised: 19 April 2021


Introduction to the New Zealand Code of Good Manufacturing Process for Manufacture and Distribution of Therapeutic Goods

Part 1: Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products (2018)


Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is the term used to describe the systems manufacturers of medicines are required to have in place to ensure their products are consistently safe, effective and of acceptable quality. The requirements are expressed in a code of practice referred to as a Code of GMP.

We directly align our Code of GMP with the internationally accepted publication, the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention / Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PICS) Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice. Chapters in the PICS guide are regularly updated to reflect developments in GMP. Medsafe last updated our Code of GMP to align with the PICS guide in 2013. There have been a number of cumulative updates to the PICS guide since:

PIC/s GMP Guide revision history


Version number

Reasons for revision

15 January 2009


  • Revision of Chapter 1 (Part I)
  • Revision of Annex 1
  • New Annex 20

1 September 2009


  • Revision of Annex 3

1 January 2013


  • Revision of Chapter 4 (Part I)
  • Revision of Annexes 6, 7, 11 & 13

1 March 2014


  • Introduction of QRM principals in PIC/S GMP Guide – Part II
  • Revision of Annex 2
  • Revision of Annex 14

1 October 2015


  • Revision of Annex 15

1 January 2017


  • Revision of Chapters 1, 2, 6 & 7 (Part I)

1 July 2018


  • Revision of Chapters 3, 5 & 8 (Part 1)
  • Revision of Annex 17

The GMP  Code effective in New Zealand is located on the Medsafe website.

The Code is used by Medsafe to determine whether applicants for Licences to Pack Medicines or Licences to Manufacture Medicines meet appropriate standards of GMP to enable licences to be issued pursuant to the Medicines Act 1981 and Medicines Regulations 1984. The Code is also used by Medsafe to determine whether applicants for GMP Certificates meet an appropriate standard of GMP.

Implementation of the code

Non compliances with respect to the new requirements in the Code, will be raised during GMP audits but will not be regarded as deficiencies until 3 November 2021. At initial audits subsequent to the implementation of the Code, plans to achieve compliance with the new requirements will be assessed for acceptability and agreed with Medsafe.

Note that the Code does not alter the definition of a medicine in the Medicines Act 1981.

Where the Code refers to 'medicinal product' the definition of 'medicine' in the Medicines Act should be applied. The Code does not change the current labelling requirements for clinical trials materials distributed in New Zealand. The Code does not alter current New Zealand medicines legislation.

Changes to the code

Future changes made by the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme to the Guide to GMP, PE 009-14, will be reviewed by Medsafe as they occur and a decision on whether the New Zealand Code of Good Manufacturing Practice for Manufacture and Distribution of Therapeutic Goods Part 1: Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products should be updated, will be made.


The New Zealand Code of Good Manufacturing Practice was originally published in 1978. In 1993 the New Zealand Department of Health, with the agreement of manufacturers and distributors in New Zealand adopted the 1992 Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention (PIC) Guide to GMP thus harmonising New Zealand requirements with international best practice. Since that time the concept of Good Manufacturing Practice has been further elaborated with updated guidance and information on new technologies available to regulators and manufacturers through updates to the original international code.

Medsafe acknowledges the permission given by the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/s) to use its current GMP guide as the New Zealand Code and recognises the efforts of the PIC/s members and other regulators in contributing to a code that reflects updated, internationally accepted GMP requirements for pharmaceutical products.

Information about PIC/s can be found at:

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