Brown marmorated stink bug requirements

MPI is working to reduce the risk of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSBs) getting into New Zealand. Stink bugs are a serious pest for agriculture and horticulture and can be a social nuisance. If you're importing vehicles, machinery or equipment there are requirements you must meet.


We're releasing a revised IHS on 22 July 2019

We're planning to release a revised Vehicle and Sea Container Import Health Standards with the 2019-20 BMBS season requirements on the 22 July 2019. We'll update this page with more information.

Ensure you are using the latest standard

You must meet requirements under the import health standard for vehicles, machinery, and equipment issued 24 August 2018.

BMSB measures for target risk goods

If you're importing break-bulk (not in a container) or containerised sea cargo from certain countries, you must meet certain MPI requirements to manage the risk of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSBs) getting into New Zealand. The list of countries that need to meet these requirements are in Schedule 3 of the IHS issued on 24 August 2018. They are:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • the USA. 

MPI targets imported goods that have a higher risk of carrying the BMSB. These goods include new and used vehicles, vessels, machinery, and equipment which:

  • must be cleaned and treated to control BMSB if from Schedule 3 countries
  • must be cleaned and treated to control BMSB (and other pests) before shipment if from Japan
  • may be inspected on arrival in New Zealand if from a country of concern for BMSB.

You must provide documentation to MPI showing your goods meet the requirements of the IHS for Vehicles, Machinery and Equipment. The definition of vehicles and machinery is broad – check which goods are included in the IHS.

All containerised goods from Schedule 3 countries are at risk of carrying BMSB and may be inspected during the BMSB season.

BMSB season – when the measures apply

The risk season is from 1 September until 30 April. Note, MPI may apply emergency measures if we find BMSB infestations.

Is your cargo transhipping via a BMSB-risk country?

Sometimes, new and used vehicles and machinery are manufactured in (or originate from) a 'non-BMSB-risk country', but then get transhipped via a 'BMSB-risk country' on their way to New Zealand. This includes Japan and Schedule 3 countries. This transhipping may expose the cargo to the risk of BMSB. Because of this, MPI has conditions you need to meet if you're transhipping during the BMSB-risk season (September to April of each year). You may need to meet these transhipping and treatment conditions, as well as other IHS requirements.

We've prepared information to help you understand what you need to do if you're transhipping your cargo through a BMSB-risk country.

Is your cargo being treated in a BMSB-risk country?

New or used vehicles and machinery from BMSB-risk countries can meet BMSB requirements if they use MPI-approved treatments before they arrive in New Zealand. However, there are treatment conditions which importers also need to meet before MPI will accept the treatment. We've prepared information to help you understand what you need to do if you're treating your cargo in a BMSB-risk country.

IHS requirements for target risk goods

If you're importing vehicles, machinery, or equipment you must meet the following requirements.

BMSB inspections

To make sure the measures to manage BMSB are working, MPI inspects specific goods from BMSB risk countries (Japan and Scedule 3 countries) throughout the season. You also have a legal obligation under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to notify MPI of risk pests, such as BMSB.

Voluntary trapping

Light traps have been effective in previous seasons to help operators quickly find and respond to BMSB. Manufacturers, importers and shipping line operators are encouraged to use traps to monitor for the presence of BMSB in:

  • manufacturing and storage facilities
  • load ports
  • shipping vessels. 

Voluntary use of light traps may reduce the need for verification of the vessel when it arrives in New Zealand. Report any pests to MPI.

How we charge

For all imported goods, MPI charges the owner or importer of the goods for our services, including:

  • processing documents
  • risk assessments
  • inspections.

Extra costs may be incurred if a new infestation of viable BMSB is found on a vessel before goods are unloaded to the wharf.

Resources for the risk season

Biosecurity New Zealand has 2 documents to help importers, agents, shipping lines, and ports during the BMSB risk season.

Information on import stages

Find out:

  • the stages in the import pathway
  • who is responsible for each stage and what they can do to ensure compliance
  • what Biosecurity New Zealand is doing with both vessels and cargo.

Import stages for BMSB season [PDF, 464 KB]

Information to help clear cargo  

Find information to help you understand the IHS and how it relates to clearing cargo, including:

  • a breakdown of imports by country of origin and what is required
  • who should supply evidence of compliance, what evidence, and how to supply it
  • the likely regulatory actions for vessel discharge and if live stink bugs are found
  • who is responsible for each stage and what they can do to ensure compliance
  • when Biosecurity New Zealand looks at (and recovers costs for) cargo on a wharf.

Information to help clear your cargo during BMSB season [PDF, 418 KB]

About BMSB

Our fact sheet contains information about the potential impact that BMSB could have in New Zealand.

Who to contact

If you see insects on imported goods, report them either:

  • directly to a quarantine officer
  • to MPI on 0800  80 99 66

If you have questions about BMSB measures:

Any changes to the BMSB measures will be published on this website.

Last reviewed: