The Ministry for Primary Industries is seeking feedback on plans to introduce stricter import requirements for vehicles and sea containers.

Biosecurity New Zealand spokeswoman Dr Cath Duthie said the changes were intended to make it harder for brown marmorated stink bug to establish in New Zealand.

Duthie said the invasive pest was continuing to spread throughout Europe and the United States.

"The proposed new measures will help stop bugs from hitching a ride to New Zealand," she said.


The proposed changes included extending the list of countries that have requirements to treat vehicles, machinery and equipment imports before they arrive in New Zealand.

Currently, 18 countries have pre-treatment requirements - the proposed new list will increase to 33 countries.

All imported cargo related to vehicles will need to be treated off-shore, including sea containers. In the past, only uncontainerised cargo has required treatment before arrival.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) also intends to refine some of the off-shore management requirements under the existing import standard for vehicles.

It has also worked with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to get measures that are aligned, making it easier for traders and shippers to comply.

MPI has increased its border checks of arriving vessels at the start of this year's stink bug season. It also introduced tighter rules for importing vehicles for several countries.

So far this season, to the end of March, border officers have detected 123 live stink bugs.

The consultation will run from April 3 to June 3.


More information is available on the MPI website.