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Proposed changes to the import health standard for sea containers


9 September 2020 – Revised IHS

MPI has issued the Sea Containers Import Health Standard and it came into force on 1 September 2020. Importers planning to import sea containers on or after 1 September need to comply with this import health standard (IHS).

Changes that importers should be aware of are:

  • the use of the Quarantine Declaration in Schedule 2 will have a lead-in period and come into force 1 February 2021. Until 1 February 2021, MPI will accept both forms of the declaration.
  • fully-enclosed sea containers from Italy sealed before 1 September and exported before 1 October of the same year are excluded from all BMSB management requirements if evidence of the container sealing is provided (aligns with the vehicles, machinery, and parts Import Health Standard)

Sea Containers from All Countries – Import Health Standard [PDF, 982 KB]

Response to submissions for sea containers and vehicles, machinery, and parts 2020 [PDF, 651 KB]

Have your say

From 14 May 2020 to 17 July 2020, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invited comment on proposed changes to the Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries.

The proposals included:

  • changes to wording, layout, and ordering of the requirements for clarity
  • an extension of the brown marmorated stick bug requirements for sea containers from Italy
  • the inclusion of the quarantine declaration as a schedule.

Full details of the proposed changes were in the consultation documents.

Consultation documents

Related document

Steps to finalising the new IHS

After consultation on a draft import health standard, MPI publishes a provisional IHS.

If you made a submission during the consultation, you had 10 working days to notify the director-general of MPI that you intended to request an independent review. Reviews are limited to whether or not specific scientific evidence was given sufficient consideration.

If no review is requested within 10 working days, then the provisional IHS is confirmed and issued as a standard.

For more information about reviews refer to:

Submissions are public information

Note that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it.  That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it's commercially sensitive or it's personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.

Legal background

MPI must consult with interested parties in accordance with section 23 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) and MPI's consultation policy before issuing or amending (other than of minor or urgent nature) import health standards (IHS) under sections 24A and 24B of the Act.

An IHS specifies import requirements that must be met either in the country of origin or of export, or during transit before biosecurity clearance can be given for the goods to enter New Zealand. MPI must ensure that these requirements are technically justified and provide an appropriate level of biosecurity protection.

Find out more

Steps to importing containers and cargo