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Proposed regulations for the Biosecurity (Information for Incoming Passengers) Amendment Act 2022

Update – July 2023

Summary of submissions issued

This consultation ran from 8 March until 5 April 2023. Eight formal submissions were received.  

During the consultation, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) held an online workshop with maritime vessel stakeholders to present an overview of the policy proposals. Feedback from the workshop was considered alongside the formal submissions to revise the policy proposals for the regulations.

We changed the proposals in response to feedback received

We've released a summary of submissions received on the policy proposals. The contact details of the submitters have not been included in the document to protect people's privacy under section 9(2)(a) of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).

Summary of submissions [PDF, 96 KB]

Overall, the submissions supported the policy proposals with suggested amendments to specific aspects of the proposals, which are detailed in the summary of submissions.

  • Removing the requirement in the regulations for carriers to notify the Director-General of MPI that the biosecurity information has been provided to passengers. Further investigation and analysis of submissions showed that it is more difficult to retrospectively add another reporting obligation into existing biosecurity clearance documents than anticipated. We want to ensure that the regulations do not impose undue operational burdens or compliance costs for the aviation and maritime vessel industries and MPI.
  • Clarifying the type of biosecurity risk items that must be referenced if aviation or maritime vessel carriers choose to develop their own biosecurity information. As originally drafted, “which items are a biosecurity risk” the proposal could have been read as requiring a detailed list of each type of biosecurity risk item, which was not intended.

Next steps

In June 2023, Cabinet approved the amended policy proposals and the drafting of new regulations. Following the drafting of the regulations, they will be presented to Cabinet for a final decision. The regulations are expected to come into force by 21 October 2023.

To support the implementation of the regulations, Biosecurity New Zealand is leading the development of guidance material. This will be made available before the regulations come into effect. The guidance will ensure operators are well supported to meet their obligations. 

Consultation background

The Biosecurity (Information for Incoming Passengers) Amendment Act 2022 will require commercial airline and maritime vessel operators with 20 or more passengers (excluding crew) to provide biosecurity information to passengers arriving in New Zealand. Many carriers, if not all, are already doing this voluntarily.

To enable the amendment act, supporting regulations are being developed that will set out the detail of the new law. The regulations will make it clear to airline and maritime vessel carriers what they must do to comply with the law. Biosecurity New Zealand will develop detailed guidance to help carriers implement the regulations.

Biosecurity (Information for Incoming Passengers) Amendment Act 2022 – NZ Legislation

Have your say

From 8 March until 5 April 2023, MPI sought comments on proposals for the supporting regulations. A summary of the 4 proposals for the regulations is on this web page. Full details are in the consultation document.

Consultation document

Biosecurity (Information for Incoming Passengers) Amendment Act 2022 regulations proposals [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Summary of the 4 proposed regulations

Proposal 1

Persons in charge of a commercial craft with 20 or more passengers (excluding crew) (defined in the amendment act as "a large commercial craft") can either use information provided by Biosecurity New Zealand or develop their own pre-approved information.

Proposal 2

Notice to the director-general of MPI that the information has been provided to passengers would be through minor amendments to existing documents.

Proposal 3

If carriers choose to provide their own biosecurity information, it must include 6 key elements:

  • what items are a biosecurity risk
  • how these items can damage New Zealand's environment and industries
  • how a person can dispose of the items safely
  • how to make a biosecurity declaration
  • penalties if a person fails to dispose or declare an item
  • any additional information the director-general deems necessary for management of biosecurity risk.

Proposal 4

If persons in charge of a large commercial craft do not comply with the amendment act or regulations, they could be subject to a compliance order or an infringement fee of $400 (individual) or $800 (corporate).

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation