Importing Sea Containers from All Countries
22 July 2009
You are viewing an import health standard. It outlines the requirements that must be met before risk goods can be imported into New Zealand.
Short Name: SEACO
For all matters relating to the interpretation, review and amendment of this standard, please contact:
Operations and Facilities Group - Sea Container Standard
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
P.O Box 2526, Wellington 6011
Fax: 64 4 894 0228
For all matters relating to the operation of this standard, including inspections, audits and treatments, please contact your local MAFBNZ office.
This standard is issued in accordance with section 22 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act). It revokes and replaces “BMG-STD-SEACO: Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries (September 2003).
Dated at Auckland this 22nd day of July 2009
Director, Border Standards
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
(Issued under delegated authority)
Version number: 1.0
This import health standard outlines the minimum requirements that must be met when importing sea containers and associated packaging material into New Zealand. For details about the operational aspects of this standard refer to the attached guidance document.
A biosecurity clearance, (pursuant to section 26 of the Act), may only be issued when a container meets the requirements of this import health standard.
A container that does not meet the requirements of this standard will not be given biosecurity clearance under the Act and will be directed by a MAFBNZ Inspector as per section 122 of the Act for further action as considered appropriate to manage the biosecurity risks. Deliberate non-compliance with the requirements of this standard or negligence leading to non-compliance will lead to increased intervention (e.g. inspection or audit) regimes or prosecution of liable parties under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
3 Biosecurity Requirements
All containers imported into New Zealand must be clean and free of pests and biosecurity contamination. Inspections or checks to verify this must be carried out by legally approved persons (e.g. MAFBNZ inspectors or accredited persons).
The information stated below is required for all containers arriving in New Zealand and must be sent to and received by MAFBNZ at least 12 hours prior to container arrival:
- Container number
- Container type
- Country of origin
- Port of loading
- NZ port of discharge
- Importer details
- Exporter details
- NZ transitional facility destination
- Quarantine declaration
- Complete and accurate description of the cargo or tariff code, including all packaging
The information will be assessed by MAFBNZ to determine the regulatory interest of a container and subsequent actions to be taken. Containers with absent or incomplete information will be deemed of high regulatory interest.
A container must not be removed from the first port of discharge - including movement to transitional facilities, inland depots or for transhipment by road or rail, until all container information is received and assessed by MAFBNZ and directions actioned by MAFBNZ or relevant parties. Containers for transshipment by sea must be inspected or checked at the first port of discharge where they will remain on that port for longer than 12 hours.
For all uncleared containers being transported from a port to a transitional facility or between transitional facilities for devanning, treatment or other action, the importer or importer’s agent must provide all relevant information and MAFBNZ directions about the container to the transport operator and the transitional facility.
7 Transitional Facilities
No person is permitted to open or devan a container until notification of MAFBNZ requirements has been received at the transitional facility. Containers must be devanned at the transitional facility in the presence of a MAFBNZ Inspector or an accredited person (as directed by MAFBNZ).
8 Inspection requirements
8.1 Wood packaging and other restricted packaging material
All wood packaging must be actioned as per the MAFBNZ standard Wood Packaging Material from All Countries. Restricted or other contaminated packaging must be segregated, secured and treated as per this standard.
8.2 Detection and management of biosecurity pests and contamination
Biosecurity contamination, e.g. soil, plant products and restricted packaging material etc, found on or in a container during routine checks must be secured in a quarantine bin or other approved receptacle and MAFBNZ notified (as per the accredited persons training)
When live organisms e.g. insects, mobile animals or egg masses etc, are found they must be secured and MAFBNZ notified immediately on 0800 809 966.
9 Definition of terms
For the purposes of this standard and the attached guidance document, terms used that are defined in the Biosecurity Act 1993 have the meanings set out there. The following specific definitions also apply:
Biosecurity Authority Clearance Certificate issued by MAFBNZ that provides either biosecurity clearance or direction for further action.
Biosecurity pests and contamination
Animals, insects or other invertebrates (alive or dead, in any life cycle stage, including egg casings), organic material of animal origin (including blood, bones, hair, flesh, secretions, excretions), viable or non-viable plants or plant products (including fruit, seeds, leaves, twigs, roots, bark), other organic material (including fungi), soil or water where these are not the manifested cargo being imported.
A visual examination by an accredited person to detect the presence of biosecurity pests and contamination. Such a check is to be carried out during the routine handling and movement of containers and as per the accredited persons training.
Customs delivery order (CDO)
Direction issued by the New Zealand Custom Service that allows for a container to be transported to another location.
High regulatory interest
Containers that are considered by MAFBNZ profiling to have a higher than average chance of being contaminated with biosecurity pests or material; OR with absent or incomplete information; OR are sourced from countries with ‘high risk status’. Containers of high regulatory interest require further MAFBNZ intervention before a biosecurity clearance is issued.
A visual examination by a MAFBNZ Inspector to detect the presence of biosecurity pests and contamination. An inspection does not require magnification but may require additional lighting if the inspection is carried out at night or within a building.
Material used to brace or hold cargo within a container such as pallets, cases, crates, boxes, drums, and cartons, dunnage and wedges.
Restricted packaging material
Packaging that includes soil, peat, moss, used sacking material, hay, straw, chaff and any material contaminated with the above. Wood packaging is also included - materials such as cases, crates and pallets and wood used to separate, brace, protect or secure cargo in transit.
- MAFBNZ Sea Container Import Health Standard Information (16 KB)
- Communications for Industry and MAFBNZ (32 KB)
- Guidance Document (49 KB)
- Fact Sheet (604 KB)