A look at NZ's Biosecurity Landscape in 2024

29th May 2024

A look at NZ's Biosecurity Landscape in 2024

Welcome to our May Biosecurity Update. 

United Fresh is a member of the Biosecurity Business Pledge and we have been tuning in to their frequent webinar updates.

The below information has been compiled from the presentations from experts and government officials.


Biosecurity NZ Update


Biosecurity Responses

Dr Cath Duthie, Readiness Manager, Biosecurity New Zealand outlined Biosecurity New Zealand’s response approach to any incursions at the border. She talked through what Biosecurity New Zealand assesses, what processes it uses, what factors are considered including impacts on the environment, economy, culturally and non-market value impacts. New Zealand has 15-20 responses happening at any one time, despite the general public only hearing about one or two high-profile ones such as Caulerpa.

A map of the current responses underway shows that the majority of incursions are congregated around ports of entry, but there are also higher risk areas such as Northland due to its local environmental conditions.


Transitional Facilities

Pauline Williamson, Team Manager Facilities, Biosecurity New Zealand gave an update on the work her team are doing. There are 3,870 Transitional Facilities (TFs) and 34 Place of First Arrivals (PoFAs) across New Zealand. Ensuring strong biosecurity capability at TFs and PoFAs is vital in protecting the 70,000 enterprises engaged in the food & fibre sector, the primary industries, our local and business communities, jobs and the significant export revenues we rely on for our economy – such as those from the dairy, meat & wool, horticulture and forestry sectors deliver.

A couple of snapshots from Pauline’s presentation:

  • In 2023 there were 3,419 Transitional Facillity Operators (TFO) trained and 8,369 Accredited Persons (APs) ensuring we have strong skills and capability available nation-wide
  • After at least two rounds of Performance Based Verification Audits there was a 90% compliance rate, and 19% have improved from unacceptable to acceptable
  • BNZ is working closely with the under performers
  • They are extending the current ISO17020 IANZ Accreditation to include Biosecurity Auditor verification of PoFA and higher risk/complex TFs

Click here to download the PPT of this presentation.


New Working Group Underway: Biosecurity Community of Practice

The first Place of First Arrival (PoFA) Biosecurity Community of Practice is underway and Matt Harvey from Auckland Airport gave a briefing following chairing the new working group this last month.

This is a collaborative platform to sharing and learning in order to advance biosecurity capability. The risk profile and passenger/cargo profiles for each PoFA is different but there are areas of common interest to participants.

The network offers a unique opportunity to build relationships, optimise practices and to stay updated with evolving threats.

The group will meet quarterly and rotate the position of chair roll each six months.


How to Avoid Shipping Delays

Sherelle Kennelly, CEO of Custom Brokers & Freight Forwarders Federation of NZ (CBAFF) shared some valuable insights and reminders to help all importers reduce shipping delays.

  • Reminder that the onus on the importer to meet the Import Health Standards (IHS) for anything  they are bringing into NZ
  • More than one IHS may apply
  • Consignments that do not comply with the requirements of this IHS may not be cleared for entry into New Zealand, and/or Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) may seek further information from importers which may cause delays to your containers. It is important for all importers to be constantly aware of any changes to Import Health Standards (IHS) as you may face new or increased consequences.
  • Consignments that do not comply with the requirements of this Standard may be reshipped under the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) or tested/treated in accordance with MPI Standards before being released or equivalence determined. Importers are liable for all associated expenses.


Vessel Biosecurity Quarterly

The latest edition of Biosecurity New Zealand’s Vessel Biosecurity Quarterly includes the summer season information about cruise compliance, resource updates for the revised standard, news from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and more.

Vessel Biosecurity Quarterly – March 2024 – Issue 9