Keep your vessel pest-free
Hitchhiker insects and animals may happen to board a vessel while it's overseas – sometimes carried on cargo, blown on board in small numbers undetected, or arriving in swarms. If they then find their way to New Zealand they could affect human health or seriously harm New Zealand's economy and unique environment.
Common hitchhiking pests that have been found on ships and yachts on arrival include:
- ants and termites
- some types of beetles that gather together
- moths that are attracted to ships' lights to lay their eggs on structures
- wasps and bees.
Fact sheets about hitchhiking pests
Two pests of major concern
Moths within the flighted spongy moth complex (Lymantria spp) and brown marmorated stink bugs are serious pests and special management procedures are in place to prevent their spread to New Zealand.
Flighted spongy moth complex
From 1 February 2018, an arriving vessel will be considered a high risk for flighted spongy moth complex (FSMC) if in the previous 12 months it has visited any of the risk areas during the specified risk periods in Table 1 (sourced from the NAPPO FSMC regulations) and requires a Certificate of Freedom of FSMC.
Table 1: Flighted spongy moth (Lymantria spp) complex risk areas and risk periods 2023
|Risk area||Requirements apply where a vessel has visited any ports:||Specific risk period|
|Russian Far East||South of 60o North and West of 147o longitude (excluding those ports on the Kamchatka Peninsula)||June 15 to October 15|
|China||North of latitude of 31o 15' N||June 1 to September 30|
|Republic of Korea||In all areas||June 1 to September 30|
|Japan – Northern||In prefectures of Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Akita, Yamagata||June 15 to October 30|
|Japan – Central||In prefectures of Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie||June 1 to September 30|
|Japan – Southern||In prefectures of Wakayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, Kochi, Fukuoka, Oita, Saga, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima||May 15 to August 31|
|Japan – Far Southern||In prefecture of Okinawa||May 25 to June 30|
Certificates of Freedom
If the vessel is high risk and does not have a Certificate of Freedom from a recognised inspection body, a high-level inspection may be required at a specific port as determined by MPI or potentially 4 nautical miles offshore at an agreed location if the risk is very high.
Certificates of Freedom will avoid undue delays on your arrival in New Zealand. If you wish to obtain certification from any of the listed countries, use one of the approved (recognised) inspection bodies.
The Craft Risk Management Standard (CRMS) for Vessels came into force on 1 February 2018.
Brown marmorated stink bugs
This insect is a serious pest of crops and nuisance to people. It has been found arriving at the New Zealand border on cargo and vessels from the United States. Crews should look out for the bug and report any sightings.
New and used cars, trucks, machinery, boats and parts imported from the United States must be treated by one of 3 methods before being shipped to New Zealand.
Find out more
Who to contact
- If you have questions about the information on this page, email email@example.com
- To report an exotic pest or disease call 0800 80 99 66.