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.


Extension of mandatory treatment of sea containers from Italy

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is extending the mandatory (offshore or onshore) treatment for all goods associated with sea containers from Italy from 1 March until 30 April 2018.  

MPI is taking this highly precautionary approach as brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) are still being detected in goods imported into New Zealand in Italian sea containers. This situation is problematic as BMSB is difficult to detect in low numbers, and mandatory treatment is seen as the most effective way to stop this significant pest from entering and establishing in New Zealand. MPI has made this decision after ensuring all aspects were considered, and evaluating the available data leading up to and including the end of February 2018. The change also aligns with the recognised risk period currently in place for vehicles and machinery from Italy and the USA.

The urgent measures to manage BMSB in sea container goods from Italy were originally introduced on 23 December 2017. 

MPI encourages all importers to treat containerised consignments before shipping to manage BMSB risk offshore. If you want to treat them on arrival, they may face significant delays due to the volume of containers entering New Zealand. If you must treat on arrival, you must arrange with a New Zealand treatment provider to treat within 72 hours of arrival.

MPI is working closely with our overseas counterparts to ensure that these requirements don't adversely affect New Zealand’s trade partners and the arrival of consignments from Italy up to 30 April 2018.

Anyone that has concerns about the types of treatments applied, and whether they will harm their goods, can contact MPI to see if alternative options can be arranged.

MPI contact details

  • For overseas or pre-arrival enquiries, email
  • For New Zealand enquiries:
    • email, or
    • phone 0800 22 20 18 option 2 then option 1. Phone calls are answered from Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm, excluding public holidays.
  • For other enquiries, including regional offices, call the general enquires line – 0800 00 83 33.

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 or horticultural production, forestry, and tourism. Importers are among the most important people in defending against biosecurity risks.

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing containers and cargo, email

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