Containers and cargo

All containers, with or without cargo, imported into New Zealand must meet biosecurity requirements to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases. MPI can help importers meet these requirements.


Sea containers from Italy

Urgent measures have been introduced to manage the risk of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) arriving into New Zealand in sea containers from Italy.

From 23 December 2017 to 1 March 2018, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will require all sea containers from Italy to undergo mandatory offshore or onshore treatment for BMSB.

MPI encourages importers to treat before shipping their goods, to ensure the risk is managed offshore. If the importer wishes to treat on arrival, they may face significant delays due to the volume of containers entering New Zealand. If you must treat on arrival, be aware that this will need to be arranged with onshore treatment providers to have this done within 48 hours.

These new measures come in response to a number of recent detections of brown marmorated stink bugs at the border, and MPI’s growing concern that the level of detections have reached a point where further actions need to occur. 

As a result, MPI has added these measures as an additional risk management measure to stop this significant pest species entering and establishing in New Zealand.

MPI is working closely with our overseas counterparts to ensure that these requirements do not adversely affect New Zealand’s trade partners and the arrival of consignments from Italy up to 1 March 2018.

Anyone that has concerns over the types of treatments applied, and whether these will harm their product, can contact MPI to see if alternatives can be arranged.

MPI contact details

  • For offshore or pre-arrival enquiries, email
  • For onshore enquiries:
    • email, or
    • phone 0800 22 20 18 option 2 then option 1. Phone calls are answered from Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm, excluding public holidays.
  • For other enquiries, including regional offices, call the general enquires line – 0800 00 83 33.

Importer responsibilities

The increasing volume of trade and travel is placing extra pressure on New Zealand's biosecurity systems. New pests and diseases impact on human, animal and plant health, affect New Zealand trade in international markets, and can damage the environment – affecting agriculture or horticultural production, forestry, and tourism. Importers are among the most important people in defending against biosecurity risks.

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing containers and cargo, email

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