Containers and cargo

All containers, with or without cargo, imported into New Zealand must meet biosecurity requirements to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases. MPI can help importers meet these requirements.


9 September 2020 – Revised IHS

MPI has issued the Sea Containers Import Health Standard. This came into force on 1 September 2020. Importers planning to import sea containers on or after 1 September must comply with this import health standard (IHS).

Changes that importers should be aware of are:

  • the use of the Quarantine Declaration in Schedule 2 will have a lead-in period and come into force 1 February 2021. Until 1 February 2021, MPI will accept both forms of the declaration.
  • fully-enclosed sea containers from Italy sealed before 1 September and exported before 1 October of the same year are excluded from all BMSB management requirements if evidence of the container sealing is provided (aligns with the vehicles, machinery, and parts Import Health Standard).

Sea Containers from All Countries – Import Health Standard [PDF, 320 KB]

Importer responsibilities

The increasing volume of trade and travel is placing extra pressure on New Zealand's biosecurity systems. New pests and diseases impact on human, animal and plant health, affect New Zealand trade in international markets, and can damage the environment – affecting agriculture, forestry, horticultural production, and tourism. Importers are among the most important people in defending against biosecurity risks.

Related documents and information

BACC Application Form [PDF, 303 KB]

IHS for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts [PDF, 565 KB]

Insecticide Aerosols for Containers

MPI-Approved Treatments for Risk Goods [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Treatment Options and Providers

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing containers and cargo, email

If you have BMSB specific enquiries, email

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