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.


Update – 22 July 2019

Revised Import Health Standard for Sea Containers

MPI consulted on proposed changes to the Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries (the IHS) between the 3 April and the 3 June 2019.

The IHS has been re-issued after making some required changes. These changes apply from 22 July 2019.

IHS for Sea Containers from All Countries [PDF, 614 KB]

Guidance Document for the IHS for Sea Containers from All Countries [PDF, 620 KB]

Find out about the consultation and submissions

MPI has issued the following industry notice to advise of BMSB management changes for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts from BMSB risk countries and sea containers from Italy.

Notice to industry [PDF, 137 KB]

BMSB requirements


Summary of changes affecting imports from Italy

All sea containers (and cargo) that depart from Italy on or after 1 September 2019 and arrive on or before 30 April 2020 must be managed for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).

Two options available (A and B)

Importers of containers and cargo (considered to be risk goods under this IHS) from Italy have 2 options under Section 2.3.

Option A

This requires all Italian containers (and cargo) to be treated with fumigation or heat (as per MPI-approved biosecurity treatments) before arrival in New Zealand.

All the treatments must be approved by MPI and conducted by an MPI-approved offshore treatment provider.

MPI-approved treatments for risk goods [PDF, 1.4 MB] 

Find an MPI-approved treatment provider

If you have any questions, email:

If you have BMSB specific enquiries, email bmsb@mpi.govt.nz

Option B for cargo considered sensitive to treatments

Risk goods and cargo considered by an MPI chief technical officer to be sensitive to fumigation or heat treatment may receive MPI inspection instead of being treated. 

You must notify MPI in advance of importation that the sea container contains cargo you consider is sensitive and would be damaged by treatments.

Check our indicative list of risk goods and cargo generally considered by an MPI chief technical officer to be sensitive to treatment.

Risk goods and cargo considered sensitive to treatment [PDF, 295 KB]

Containers containing only vehicles, machinery, and parts

Sea containers containing only vehicles, machinery and parts (and no other types of cargo) that are treated or managed by an MPI-approved system for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), under the IHS for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts are exempt from the requirements of Section 2.3.  This is because the BMSB requirements for vehicles, machinery and parts meet equivalent management measures under the IHS for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts.

For all sea containers from Italy that contain vehicles, machinery or parts, refer to the Import Health Standard for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts (which replaces the Import Health Standard for Vehicles, Machinery and Equipment).

Import Health Standard for Vehicles, Machinery, and Parts

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

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing containers and cargo, email info@mpi.govt.nz

If you have BMSB specific enquiries, email bmsb@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: