Revised Import Health Standard for Sea Containers

Closing Date:
Contact: Facilities and pathways group

Have your say

MPI has reviewed the Import Health Standard for Sea Containers (the IHS) and wants your feedback on proposed changes. The IHS was last updated in October 2018 when some minor changes were made to remove ambiguities and fix some small errors.

This consultation runs from 3 April to 3 June 2019.

What's proposed?

MPI is proposing changes to the IHS to better manage importation of sea containers from Italy. These changes are covered in Section 2.3 (2) of the IHS. 

MPI intends to require that all sea containers and cargo from Italy are treated before arrival in New Zealand. This requirement is for the management of brown marmorated stink bugs.

  • The sea containers and cargo must be treated in accordance with MPI Standard – Approved Biosecurity Treatments by an MPI-approved treatment operator.
  • The only exception to treatment will be for sea containers with cargo that is sensitive to treatment.
  • Inspection will be available to an importer where MPI has been advised about the sensitive cargo well in advance of arrival, and where an MPI chief technical officer has agreed that inspection under controlled conditions may be conducted instead of treatment.
  • Any containerised cargo from Italy that is not considered to be sensitive to treatment and that arrives at the New Zealand border untreated, will be refused permission to be unloaded from the arriving vessel. The cargo will be re-shipped back to Italy or shipped elsewhere.

Consultation documents

The draft IHS [PDF, 607 KB]
Draft Risk management proposal [PDF, 210 KB]

Related document

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the draft by 5pm on 3 June 2019 to

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title, if applicable
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address and email).

While we prefer email, you can post your submission to:

Facilities and Pathways Group       
Plants and Pathways Directorate
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526 Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

All submissions received by the closing date will be considered before the amended IHS is issued. MPI may hold late submissions on file for consideration when the issued IHS is next revised or reviewed.

Steps to finalising the new IHS

After consultation on a draft import health standard, MPI publishes a provisional IHS.

If you made a submission during the consultation, you have 10 working days to notify the Director-General of MPI that you intend to request an independent review. Reviews are limited to whether or not specific scientific evidence was given sufficient consideration.

If no review is requested within 10 working days, then the IHS is confirmed and issued.

More details about reviews are in the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Section 24 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 – NZ Legislation

Submissions are public information

Note that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it.  That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

Legal background

MPI must consult with interested parties in accordance with section 23 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) and MPI's consultation policy before issuing or amending (other than of minor or urgent nature) import health standards under sections 24A and 24B of the Act.

An IHS specifies import requirements that must be met either in the country of origin or of export, or during transit before biosecurity clearance can be given for the goods to enter New Zealand. MPI must ensure that these requirements are technically justified and provide an appropriate level of biosecurity protection.

Last reviewed: