Revision of the Import Health Standard for Air Containers from All Countries

Closing Date:

Contact: Biosecurity and environment group


Update – 11 August 2017

Revised IHS approved

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has reviewed and consulted on the Import Health Standard: Air Containers from All Countries (the IHS). The amendments proposed were in response to changing scientific knowledge and commercial practices.

The revised standard has been approved on 11 August 2017 and is due to come into force on 5 April 2018. Stakeholders (airlines, airline service providers) have until 5 April 2018 to satisfy MPI that the requirements of the IHS are being met.

New requirements

The IHS requires importers (airlines, airline agents and airline service providers) to:

  • provide a manifest for those air containers carrying freight
  • ensure all air containers and packaging are clean and free from biosecurity pests and contaminants by adopting a method listed in the IHS; and
  • report any findings of biosecurity pests and contaminants against (listed in schedule 2 of the IHS) to MPI.

Next steps

MPI will be in contact with each airport worksite (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown) to discuss methods to ensure air containers are clean of biosecurity pests and contaminants. Proposed methods are:

  • confirmation from an accredited person unloading an air container;
  • confirmation that the air container has been through a MPI approved system (like an offshore system prior to arrival to New Zealand); or
  • making arrangements for an air container to be inspected by an inspector.
How to become an accredited person

A person unloading air containers can become an accredited person through attending and passing the MPI approved training programme.

Background to closed consultation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invited comment from interested parties on the proposed changes to the Import Health Standard: Air Containers from All Countries. To help give feedback:

  • MPI developed a discussion document with more details about the proposed changes, based on the best available scientific evidence and assessment of this evidence
  • workshops of the standard were organised in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington before 26 February 2016. 

Consultation documents

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