Stopping the stinkers

29 October 2020

The latest rules for importing goods from countries with Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) were released in time for the start of the 2020/21 high-risk season, with the updated import health standard for vehicles, machinery and parts coming into force 1 September.

The standard increases the number of countries subject to offshore management requirements for vehicles, machinery and parts. Following discussions with Australian officials, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Portugal and Ukraine have been added to the list of BMSB risk countries, which now numbers 37.

Imports from countries on the list must be treated before they get to New Zealand unless they have been through an approved offshore system to manage BMSB and general biosecurity risk.

Following discussions with industry, some low-risk new commodities, may be exempt from these requirements. The items include small vehicle types, machinery, parts, watercraft and tyres. These commodities are usually manufactured and stored inside, reducing the chance of picking up hitchhikers. Importers will need to submit a manufacturer’s declaration to show the goods meet storage and other requirements.

Biosecurity New Zealand has also extended the requirement for all sea containers from Italy to undergo offshore treatment before arrival until at least the end of the 2022 season.

In terms of border operations for the 2020/21 season, more checks to measure compliance with import rules have been introduced. While the focus is high-risk cargo that could hide aggregations of BMSB, there will be more checks of lower-risk types of cargo too. For example, Biosecurity New Zealand will be auditing freight from countries currently not on the above-mentioned list of 37 and there will also be more scrutiny of cargo exempt from treatment.

A handy infographic has been put together to help show how New Zealand is blocking stink bugs from entering New Zealand across different border pathways. You can view the infographic here.