Other border news

23 February 2017
• MPI screened 684,407 air passengers for biosecurity risk in January, an increase of more than 10% (64,121) from January 2016. It intercepted some 12,600 biosecurity risk items in January. Of these, 1,829 were undeclared. • As well as an increase in the number of travellers, MPI has also seen an increase in the number of travellers bringing food into New Zealand. This not only presents a biosecurity risk, it can also take hours to process which consumes precious border resources. A traveller from Malaysia recently declared a suitcase full of food, in which MPI found four mangoes infested with fruit fly larvae. • MPI reports that its new cruise ship accreditation scheme is working well to improve passenger compliance. The seizure rate from accredited vessels is half of that of unaccredited. Vessels can achieve accreditation by demonstrating they manage biosecurity risk; they benefit by receiving faster passenger processing. So far this year there have been 216 risk items seized from cruise ships. Most interceptions involved fresh produce (56 percent), which has the potential to host fruit fly. • MPI has introduced tougher scrutiny for Transitional Facilities (an importer that can unload containers on their premises). It is now unlikely to approve new applications for TFs that plan to receive fewer than 10 containers a year. KVH supports this move as part of a wider effort to improve biosecurity management on these pathways. • Research in the United States has shown that dogs can be trained to sniff out BMSB so MPI has been conducting trials to train dogs here in New Zealand. If successful, this will be a valuable tool for use in any future incursions.