Biosecurity New Zealand has provisionally released new rules intended to keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of the country.
The new regulations will apply to this year’s stink bug season, which starts September 1 and will run until April 30, 2020.
Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett says following consultation with industry, the list of countries that have requirements to treat imported vehicles, machinery, and parts before they arrive in NZ will rise from 17 to 33. These countries have all been identified as having stink bug populations.
The other big change is that imported cargo relating to vehicles will need to be treated offshore, including sea containers.
Only non-containerised vehicle cargo has required offshore treatment in the past, says Paul. Plus, offshore treatment requirements will also apply to all sea containers from Italy.
“The new rules are intended to reduce the biosecurity risk to NZ, by ensuring potentially contaminated cargo arrives as clean as possible,” says Paul.
He says Biosecurity NZ is planning to have officers based in Europe this season to educate manufacturers, treatment providers, and exporters about the new requirements and to audit facilities.
“If our checks find any issues, NZ will not accept any cargo from that facility until the problem has been fixed.”
Paul says NZ’s treatment requirements are now closer to Australia’s, which will make compliance easier for importers bringing cargo to both countries.
“A key difference is that the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will continue to allow treatment on-arrival for containerised goods.
“In addition, the stink bug season in Australia will run a month longer than ours. This is because warmer climatic and daylight conditions could allow stink bug to establish later in Australia.”
Interested parties could contest the new rules until mid-July.