Report assesses risk of gypsy moth entering via used cars

21 March 2000

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has released a report for consultation, which assesses the probability of gypsy moth entering New Zealand via a used vehicle from Japan.

The document assesses the likelihood of gypsy moth egg masses entering New Zealand via used vehicles and hatching, leading to the establishment of the insect in New Zealand. Consultation on this report will determine whether the current import health standard for importing used cars from Japan needs to be revised.

An import health standard specifies the requirements needed to effectively manage the risks associated with imported goods before they enter New Zealand.

The current import health standard applying to used vehicles from Japan came into force in 1997 under the Biosecurity Act 1993. It states that every used vehicle be inspected. Currently, used cars from Japan are inspected either pre-shipment in Japan, or on-arrival in New Zealand.

While the review focuses only on the used car pathway, the assessment concludes that there are alternative pathways for gypsy moths to enter New Zealand such as on vessels and shipping containers.

Following consultation, a decision will be made as to whether changes are required to the current import health standard.

Gypsy moths are native to Europe, parts of North America, much of Asia, the Russian Far East, Siberia and China. In the Eastern United States it has become the primary defoliator of hardwoods, with Oaks being the preferred host species.

Submissions close on 30 April 2000.

For further information contact:

Mike Alexander, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, telephone: 04 474 4280.

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33