FERNMARK
LICENCE
PROGRAMME
FAQS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is the FernMark?

The silver fern is one of the best recognised symbols of New Zealand around the world. It exemplifies New Zealandness and is already used by government officials to represent our country all over the world.

How will the FernMark help my business?

The FernMark Licence logo leverages New Zealand's great reputation to open up sales opportunities and ultimately boost growth. It provides an instantly recognisable connection to the story and reputation of New Zealand and helps differentiate products and services in a global market.  

The FernMark Licence Programme also offers exporters a level of protection, with comprehensive trademark protection of the FernMark and monitoring of its use.

Who can apply for a FernMark Licence?

Any registered New Zealand business who has been exporting a product or service for a minimum of 12 months. And to be successful, your business and products or services will need to meet the FernMark Licence Programme eligibility criteria.

On what basis is the FernMark awarded to companies?

To earn the right to carry to the FernMark Licence logo on your product(s) or associate it with your service(s), your business needs to demonstrate it has been exporting goods for at least 12 months. 

You'll also need to meet the Programme's eligibility criteria. This includes an assessment of how connected a business is to New Zealand from a financial, regulatory, governance and personnel perspective. Any products will also need to meet minimum requirements that prove they were made, grown or designed in New Zealand.

What are the FernMark Licence criteria?

To qualify you need to meet the FernMark licensing criteria

Are you a New Zealand business that is: 
- GST registered in NZ? 
- Compliant with all NZ laws and relevant regulations? 
- Considered to be of good character or repute? 

New Zealand ownership, governance or employment. 
- How much of your business is owned by New Zealanders? 
- What percentage of your shareholding is held in New Zealand? 
- What percentage of your full time employees are based in New Zealand? 

Does your product or service tell a New Zealand story? 
- Is it grown in New Zealand? 
- Or made in New Zealand? 
- Or designed in New Zealand?

How does the QR code feature work?

Licensees have the option to include a unique QR code alongside the FernMark Licence logo. That lets consumers quickly verify your licensee status without the need to download bespoke apps.

Does the FernMark Licence Programme allow for licensing of exported services as well as products?

Yes. If a business wishes to apply for a FernMark Licence and is exporting a service, the IP for the service needs to be managed and designed within New Zealand in order to qualify.

What are the costs associated with this Programme?

If your application is successful, there is an annual licence fee of between $750 plus GST and $5,000 plus GST, depending on your business's annual revenue. Licences are valid for a three-year period, regardless of the number of licensed products or services. The licence fee will be invoiced annually and the Licence may be renewed every three years. Find out more about the licence fees here.

Will companies need to pay for individual FernMark Licences for each product, or will they get a Licence covering multiple products?

Businesses purchase one licence for all of their eligible products or services. The licence fee is current for a year. Find out more about the licence fees here.

How long does a FernMark Licence last for?

Three years. Each Licence is granted for a three year initial term (with three-yearly renewals), and licence fees are invoiced annually.

How long does it take for applications to be processed?

Applications will be processed within 28 working days. You can apply here.

How does New Zealand Story protect the FernMark?

The FernMark Licence Programme offers exporters a level of protection, with comprehensive trademark protection of the FernMark and monitoring of its use.

The FernMark is registered across 31 jurisdictions and we employ the trademark registration and protection services of AJ Park who actively check no similar marks are being filed worldwide.

We also use Corsearch brand protection to monitor the use of the FernMark on over 800 online trading sites and ensure products using the FernMark are those of our licensees.

The FernMark brand protection service has already been successful in identifying a number of counterfeit milk powder products and having these removed from sale. Action is swift and very effective, largely because of the government's endorsement of the programme.

Who is responsible for the FernMark Licence Programme?

The FernMark Licence Programme is managed by the New Zealand Story Group which is a Government initiative that enhances New Zealand's reputation beyond natural beauty and ultimately contributes to the prosperity of New Zealand.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact us if you have any questions. One of the FernMark Licence team will get back to you within 48 hours.

How can I use the FernMark outside of packaging?

Your FernMark logo can be utilised in a range of ways other than product packaging. Licensees may choose to include the FernMark in their website and partner websites (product listings on E-commerce platforms), instore POS materials, email signoff, business cards, marketing collateral, social media content or trade show displays.

What is the Product Schedule?

The Product Schedule contains all products or services you wish to be valid under your FernMark licence. This document will mirror the product or service listings on your FernMark profile page. The Product Schedule can include categories of products or services rather than the individual SKUs for every market, to reduce the administrative burden.

Can the FernMark be used on co-branded or white label products?

We do not allow the FernMark to be used on co-branded products, or white label products that are manufactured for third party brands. It can only be used in connection with brands that the applicant (Licensee) has the authority to commercialise. We do not allow for any sub-licensing scenarios.

Can the FernMark be used by software/IT companies with no physical product?

Yes, the FernMark can be utilized by software/IT companies with no physical product.  

Some of our tech/ICT licensees include: Sentient Software, Tidy, BookMeBob, BookMe, ob3 , Climsystems, The Clinician and FarmIQ Systems.  

The majority of these companies use the FernMark as a digital asset, or the Certificate of Recognition when speaking to potential business partners.  

We are seeing a growing number of tech companies join the FernMark Licence Programme which is great for promoting New Zealand's tech story internationally.

Is the FernMark Licence Programme suitable for New Zealand service providers?

Yes, the FernMark Licence Programme is open to service providers, and we have several service-based licence holders that use the trademark on their website, or on other marketing collateral. 

If there is an export component to your business, and you meet the Programme's eligibility criteria , don't hesitate to submit an application.

What if I haven't been exporting for 12 months?

Please contact us directly if you haven't been exporting for 12 months. If you have plans to export, and have the relevant support from the likes of NZTE, we can be flexible around that requirement.