Many heavy vehicle imports have been held up on their way from Japan this week following an MPI scheme to reduce the numbers of brown marmorated stink bugs arriving from the country.
The changes will require all used vehicles (cars and trucks) to undergo inspection and cleaning at an MPI-approved facility in Japan prior to export.
In addition, any used machinery or other types of used vehicles from Japan will require certification proving it has undergone cleaning by an appropriate provider, says Paul Hallett, MPI Biosecurity and Environment Manager.
“The changes will significantly reduce the chance of transporting dirty vehicles and machinery that could contaminate other cargo.
“The move is the result of an unprecedented spike in the number of stink bugs arriving at the border from Japan in bulk carriers.”
Unfortunately, many heavy vehicles were already in transit as the new measures were adopted. Thus, many imports have been stalled at customs while they are inspected and fumigated.
“At this stage, there has been no update on whether any cargo is available or not” says Clevedon Truck Sales’ Richard Shivnan. “They have so much on their plate that information has been slow coming out…there could be some delays.”
It has directed three bulk carriers to leave New Zealand this month due to excessive contamination.
MPI will work with industry to develop longer term options for reducing the biosecurity risk, says Mr Hallett.
“We are all keen to work together to consider solutions that avoid the need to turn vessels around at the border.
“This could include treatment prior to entering New Zealand waters or finding ways of fumigating the vessels here if any detections are made.
“A proposed treatment programme will be trialled on one of the affected ships this week. The vessel will have to pass rigorous biosecurity checks for MPI to allow the release of its cargo.
“There is agreement from all parties that New Zealand’s biosecurity cannot be compromised.”