Heat on for Japanese vehicles
Over recent weeks officials and industry have completed putting in systems in place to allow offshore treatment of used Japanese vehicles and machinery before it heads to New Zealand. The treatment is a requirement under new rules to keep Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) from hitchhiking to New Zealand. They follow a spate of detections on car carriers arriving from Japan earlier this year.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says all three approved inspection operations in Japan have constructed heat treatment chambers at their various yards. The facilities vary in nature, but all have demonstrated they can reach the MPI-approved treatment rate and have appropriate temperature recording systems if records are requested for any treated vehicle. Each of the system operators has had to undergo a rigorous approval process, involving physical inspection and verification by MPI officers in Japan.
There have also been developments with how the biosecurity risk of new vehicles and machinery from Japan is reduced. MPI recently had staff there for six weeks assessing and approving supply chain processes designed by manufacturers to avoid the need for offshore treatment. These processes involve having strict controls in place to reduce the risk of contamination during manufacturing, storage and transport.
All new vehicles and machinery manufacturers now have MPI approved processes in place. This approval can be revoked, which would force the manufacturer in question to treat their product in the same manner as used vehicles.