Passenger and mail biosecurity review released
Early this week the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced the findings of an independent review of its biosecurity passenger and mail controls at the border.
The review was commissioned after fruit fly was first detected in Auckland earlier this year and overall has found that border services in the mail and passenger pathways protect New Zealand well.
The review also notes some significant challenges the border is under and that ongoing improvement is essential. Several recommendations have been made and are now being considered, including:
· fast deployment of new scanning technologies for suitcases and rapid scanning of hand baggage
· more development of public awareness measures, such as smartphone-enabled digital tools for arriving travellers
· separating arriving passengers carrying commercial quantities of food from other international travellers
· extending a scheme involving the pre-clearance of approved food packages carried by passengers from Tonga and imposing stiff penalties for any breaches
· charging cruise ship operators that are not covered by the existing accreditation scheme for costs relating to biosecurity services
· improved access to intelligence to aid risk assessment decisions regarding express freight
· introducing new scanning technology at the mail centre.
The recommendations reinforce a lot of things that are already on MPI’s radar and they will look at how they can fit these into their existing work programme. There are also recommendations expected to come from the separate cargo review underway.
KVH welcomes and supports the findings of the review. In our ongoing discussions with MPI we will refer to the official findings to help guide decision-making and ensure all efforts are undertaken to continue protecting our borders and the kiwifruit industry from exotic threats.
You can read the full report here.