Editorial - Border Standards: Who we are and what we do
Vision: we are valued as world leading biosecurity risk managers, trusted by our stakeholders to provide responsive, effective and efficient border management.
In this edition of Biosecurity you will find articles detailing the range of work going on in the Border Standards Directorate. The articles provide a snapshot of the work carried out by directorate staff, and include an update on used vehicle and machinery imports, details of a monitoring survey and subsequent import standard development for imported scrap metal, a “day in the life” of one of our technical writers, and overviews of our border training programme and the role of biosecurity inspectors in facility management.
The directorate was created following the integration of the former Biosecurity New Zealand (BNZ) and MAF Quarantine Service (MAFQS). The directorate operates at the interface of the old BNZ and MAFQS structure to enable more adaptable and responsive management of biosecurity risk at the border.
The primary purpose of the directorate is to integrate biosecurity standard-setting functions (import and export standards) with the mechanisms that give effect to those standards (systems/procedures, training, profiling/screening, assurance and certification), and to monitor the effectiveness of the standards and systems.
We have around 160 technical, operational and support staff spread across the country, with the majority based in Auckland and Wellington. The team work within five core groups – Animals Import/Export, Plants Import/Export, Operational Standards and Facilities, Border Training and Quality, and Analysis and Profiling – supported by the Programme Development and Business Support groups.
Border Standards work includes developing and maintaining import standards and procedures, training border inspection staff, developing and maintaining risk profiles, risk screening of imported goods, approving transitional and containment facilities, monitoring the performance of border systems, and negotiating and implementing standards and systems for exported plants, plant products, live animals and animal germplasm.
MAFBNZ sees the future border risk management system as being more flexible and adaptable than in the past, with resources targeted at managing the highest risks while at the same time minimising compliance costs for importers. The following principles have been developed to guide border initiatives across the organisation.
Border sector principles:
- where possible and feasible risks are managed before arrival at the border, and where they appear at the border they will be managed appropriately;
- voluntary compliance is maximised, and enforcement occurs where necessary;
- border interventions are timely and responsive to emerging risks and opportunities;
- the right information is available to the right people at the right time in the right way.
Biosecurity specific principles:
- we are committed to managing the risk of pests and diseases that would cause significant damage should they enter or establish here, although we are not attempting to stop every risk item from crossing the border;
- we will ensure resources are targeted to areas of highest risk, and interventions selected will be appropriate for the risk being managed;
- we will develop simple and accessible rules, tools and technology to empower biosecurity decision making;
- we will, work collaboratively with industry to manage biosecurity risk and maximise compliance;
- we will move to performance-based verification systems and reduce our reliance on inspections over time;
- we will ensure performance of the biosecurity system is known and understood through effective performance monitoring, evaluation and review processes that are fed into decision making and process improvement;
- we will ensure our standards are fit for purpose, easily accessible and understood by staff and stakeholders;
- we will ensure our import and export systems are more aligned and integrated where possible.
- Tim Knox, Director, Border Standards,
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
Page last updated: 14 October 2008