Stricter stink bug controls proposed for imported cargo
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking feedback on plans to introduce stricter import requirements for vehicles and sea containers.
The changes are intended to make it harder for brown marmorated stink bug to establish in New Zealand, says Dr Cath Duthie, Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson.
"The invasive pest is continuing to spread throughout Europe and the United States. The proposed new measures will help stop bugs from hitching a ride to New Zealand."
The proposed changes include extending the list of countries that have requirements to treat vehicles, machinery and equipment imports before they arrive in New Zealand. At present, 18 countries have pre-treatment requirements. The proposed new list will increase to 33 countries.
All imported cargo related to vehicles will need to be treated off-shore, including sea containers. In the past, only uncontainerised cargo has required treatment before arrival.
MPI also intends to refine some of the off-shore management requirements under the existing import standard for vehicles.
MPI has also worked with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to get measures that are aligned, making it easier for traders and shippers to comply.
MPI increased its border checks of arriving vessels at the start of this year's stink bug season. It also introduced tighter rules for importing vehicles for a number of countries.
So far this season (to the end of March), border officers have detected 123 live stink bugs.
The consultations run from 3 April to 3 June 2019.