New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have announced stricter regulations for this year’s stink bug season.
The new rules follow Biosecurity’s recent consultation created to ensure brown marmorated stink bugs are kept out of the country.
The number of countries required to treat imported vehicles, machinery, and parts before they arrive in New Zealand will increase from 17 to 33. These countries have all been identified as having stink bug populations.
The other major change means imported cargo relating to vehicles will need to be treated offshore, including sea containers. In the past, only uncontainerised vehicle cargo from risk countries required treatment before arriving in New Zealand.
The new regulations will apply to this year’s stink bug season, which starts on 1 September and runs until 30th April.
Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett said: “If our checks find any issues, New Zealand will not accept any cargo from that facility until the problem has been fixed. We can give advice on approved off-shore treatment providers where necessary. Industry should also be aware that sensitive goods that would be damaged by fumigation or heat treatment can be managed by on-arrival inspection in some cases.”
Mr Hallett says Biosecurity New Zealand will work closely with industry to address any operational concerns about the changes. He is optimistic the rules will reduce clearance delays for cargo this season.
“There will be a lot less treatment required onshore, which should speed up the time it takes to get cargo released once it arrives in New Zealand.”
Similar to previous years, this season will see increased surveillance and inspection of arriving vessels and cargo from countries with established stink bug populations.
“Ultimately, if officers determine a ship is infested with stink bug, it could be prevented from discharging its cargo and directed to leave New Zealand.”
Last season, Biosecurity New Zealand turned away 4 contaminated vessels from New Zealand waters and intercepted 151 live stink bugs at the border.
New Zealand’s treatment requirements are now closer to Australia’s, which will make compliance easier for importers bringing cargo to both countries.