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Import health standard for sea containers from all countries

New Zealand
MAF Biosecurity Authority Standard:
Information Required Prior to Arrival
Requirements for Discharge and Holding of Containers
Requirements for Inspection
High Risk Containers
Container and Cargo Packaging
Requirements for Transitional Facilities and Operators
Use of Approved Equivalent Systems
Audit of Container Clearance Procedures
Appendix I
Example of Quarantine Declaration
Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

1 September 2003
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Pursuant to the Biosecurity Act 1993 and acting under the authority delegated to me by theDirector General of Agriculture and Forestry, I hereby issue this Standard.
Neil H HydeChief Technical Officer Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

1 September 2003
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Issued pursuant to section 22 of the Biosecurity Act 1993
Dated: 27 August 2003 This import health standard comes into force on 1 September 2003. All sections of the
standard come into force on 1 September 2003 unless otherwise specified in the table
below. The implementation dates for these sections are listed in the right hand
column. The interim requirements for the period up until the final date for
implementation are also specified in the table. This does not preclude earlier
implementation of the new requirements where the required systems have been

Final date for

Certification requirements contained in revoked required prior to standard; Sea Containers from any Country - MAF arrival, including Regulatory Authority 152.07.02I may continue to be used until implementation date.
contained in thequarantinedeclaration.
External check requirements contained in revoked standard; Sea Containers from any Country - MAF all exterior surfaces Regulatory Authority 152.07.02I may continue of non high risk sea until implementation date. I.e. MAF will remain responsible for inspection of the exterior of accredited person.
Internal container check requirements contained in all containers be revoked standard; Sea Containers from any Country - MAF Regulatory Authority 152.07.02I may continue until implementation date. I.e. MAF will transitional facility remain responsible for the interior inspection of in the presence of a containers. Inspection of cargo will remain MAF's This document specifies the requirements to be met for the effectivemanagement of biosecurity risks associated with the importation of seacontainers and associated packaging of containerised cargo into New Zealand.
All containers must be deemed to be free from contamination before they willbe given biosecurity clearance by an inspector.
Note: Cargo may be subject to specific import health standards where applicable.
Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

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The import health standard may be reviewed and amended if there are changesin New Zealand's import policy or the biosecurity status of an originatingcountry, or for any other reason, at the discretion of the Director BorderManagement.
For the purposes of this standard the following definitions apply.
Approved - Approved by the Director-General MAF, or delegate, for the intended purpose
Accredited person - A person who has attended and passed a course in basic biosecurity
awareness associated with imported sea containers and container checking, and has been
approved (see definition) to conduct certain checks under this standard. An accredited person
may be the operator or staff member of a transitional facility, a stevedore, port company staff
or a private contractor.
Biosecurity clearance - A clearance issued by an inspector under section 26 of the
Biosecurity Act 1993.
Certification – a document that attests to the status of a consignment, including a container
(see Phytosanitary certificate, Quarantine declaration)
Check by an Accredited person – Visual observation of a container to detect the presence of
Container - A sea freight container built to specifications promulgated by the International
Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), or a similar structure.
Contamination - Animals, insects or other invertebrates (alive or dead, in any life cycle
stage, including egg casings or rafts), or any organic material of animal origin (including
blood, bones, hair, flesh, secretions, excretions); viable or inviable plants or plant products
(including fruit, seeds, leaves, twigs, roots, bark); or other organic material, including fungi;
or soil or water; where such products are not the manifested cargo being imported.
Decontamination Facility - A facility meeting the requirements of MAFRA 152.04.03
Appendix III (Cars, Car parts, Equipment and Containers (Decontamination).
Director Border Management - The Director Border Management, New Zealand Ministry
of Agriculture and Forestry, or any person who for the time being may lawfully exercise and
perform the power and functions of the Director Border Management. This position is a
Chief Technical Officer pursuant to s101 of the Biosecurity Act 1993.
High Risk Container - Containers which have a higher than average probability of being
contaminated or carrying unmanifested cargo or unmanifested/prohibited packaging material.
Such containers will be identified by risk profiling.
Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

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Inspection – A visual inspection by an Inspector, of sufficient thoroughness to detect the
presence of insects and other contaminants that can be seen on or in the container. Such an
inspection does not require magnification but may require additional lighting if the inspection
is carried out at night or within a building.
Inspector - As defined by the Biosecurity Act 1993.
MAF - Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, New Zealand.
Packaging - Packing material of the cargo within the container such as cases, crates, boxes,
drums, and cartons. This also includes material used to stabilise cargo within the container
such as dunnage and wedges.
Phytosanitary Certificate – An official document that attests to the phytosanitary status of
risk goods, including a container.
Port area - The environs of those areas approved as Places of First Arrival, in accordance
with the border standard- Requirements for Place of First Arrival (Ports), for craft, and
adjacent associated facilities at which the container arrived in New Zealand.
Quarantine Declaration – Declaration attesting to the interior and exterior cleanliness of the
container and whether any restricted packing or packaging is used within the cargo or
Restricted packaging material - Soil, peat, raw green or contaminated moss, used sacking
material, hay, straw, chaff and any packing material contaminated with the above. Wood
packaging is also included - materials such as cases, crates and pallets and wood used to
separate, brace, protect or secure cargo in transit. [see

Transitional Facility (containers) - A place approved as a transitional facility in accordance
with section 39 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 for the purpose of inspection, storage, treatment,
quarantine or holding of containers.
Transitional Facility Operator - A person approved as the operator of a Transitional facility
pursuant to s40 the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

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All imported containers and any loaded cargo must be covered by thefollowing documentation: 4.1.1 Quarantine Declaration ( see Appendix I)
A document signed by a manager of the packing or exporter facility thatdeclares; that a container was inspected internally and externally and wasfound to be free of contaminants, and the type of packing materials and woodpackaging used.
4.1.2 Other Documentation
• Container Number • Origin (where the container was packed) • The port at which the container was first loaded aboard a vessel for shipment to New Zealand • Destination in New Zealand (must be a transitional facility approved for the unpacking or storage of containers) • A complete and accurate description of the contents, including packaging • Treatment certification if applicable.
No container shall be removed from the port area until the requireddocumentation has been provided to MAF, and MAF has notified the portcompany regarding the status of the container (i.e., whether the container canbe removed). Containers with non-complying documentation will beconsidered high risk and dealt with accordingly.
After discharge from the vessel, containers not for immediate delivery are tobe placed on a hard sealed area free from soil, weeds and vegetation.
The requirements for inspection are based on four components of biosecurity riskassociated with containers as covered by this import health standard:• the exterior surfaces • the interior surfaces • the packing and packaging within the container • the cargo within the container.
Note: Packaging materials and cargo may be subject to specific import health standards.
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6.1.1 Requirements for high risk containers All sea containers arriving in New Zealand and identified by MAF as high risk for external contamination and notified as such to the port company will be: • brought to the MAF inspection area for six-sided inspection as soon as practicable, but in all cases within 8 hours after discharge; OR • fumigated with methyl bromide at 48gms/m3 for 24 hours at a temperature of at least 10°C; • accompanied by an official certificate from an overseas National Plant Protection Organisation attesting to the container's freedom from externalcontamination of any type; • subject to a decontamination or equivalent quality system process approved by the Director, Border Management.
6.1.2 Requirements for other containers All sea containers accompanied by a ‘Quarantine Declaration for Containers' in respect of internal and external contamination shall be checked forrecontamination en route during discharge and handling at the port of arrival.
This check by an accredited person will involve observation of externalsurfaces of a container for contaminants. The observation may be conducted inconjunction with routine unloading and handling processes. If contamination is observed, the container shall be detained and MAF advised within four hours. MAF shall direct action to be taken in respect of the risk. The port company arrangements to meet the above requirements shall be approved by a MAF inspector. Decontamination (e.g. washing) or overseas equivalent quality system processes approved by the Director, Border Management, may be used in lieuof inspection (see section 8). Containers covered by overseas systems will besubject to audit inspection by MAF. Empty containers may bedecontaminated externally and internally in accordance with a MAF-approvedsystem in lieu of the external and internal inspection requirements.
Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

1 September 2003
Page 8 of 14 Containers that have been inspected, checked or otherwise deemed to be free from external contamination will be directed to an approved transitionalfacility for container unpacking (loaded containers) or a facility approved forcontainer unpacking/inspection and/or cleaning (empty containers) or storage.
Such facilities may be located at the port of arrival or elsewhere. No container may be removed from the port of arrival until authorised by INTERIOR SURFACES OF CONTAINERS
6.2.1 Loaded containers with manifested risk goods requiring biosecurity clearance (including wood packaging material as specified in 6.3), or those withinadequate contents and/or packaging documentation, will be unpacked in thepresence of an accredited person at a transitional facility approved for bothcontainer unpacking and for any risk goods specified. The risk goods, exceptfor wood packaging, will be inspected by a MAF inspector.
6.2.2 Loaded containers, other than those with manifested risk goods, will be unpacked at a transitional facility approved for container unpacking in thepresence of an accredited person.
6.2.3 Containers of personal effects may be unpacked at the importer's address, provided that: the container is placed onto a sealed surface if removed fromthe transport vehicle, and; an accredited person (the transport operator or anemployee of the removal company) is present.
The check carried out by the accredited person will occur immediately prior to, during and at the completion of the unpacking of cargo as follows: • upon delivery the external surfaces of the container shall be checked for • during unpacking the cargo must be verified that it is as described on the bill of lading or manifest • during and after unpacking. all internal surfaces must be checked for • during and after unpacking verification that no untreated wooden or prohibited packaging material is present.
6.2.4 Empty containers will be checked by an accredited person at an approved transitional facility, checking all visible external surfaces and all internalsurfaces for contaminants . Alternatively, empty containers may be externallyand internally decontaminated by a system approved by the Director, BorderManagement.
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6.2.5 If contamination, including contamination of cargo or packaging, unmanifested cargo, non-compliant wood or prohibited packaging material(see 6.3 below) is found during the above checks, the container is to besegregated or secured and a MAF inspector notified as soon as possible, but inall cases within 8 hours. If live organisms are seen, a MAF inspector must benotified immediately (appropriate contact details will be available for eachfacility). The MAF inspector is responsible for requiring suitable action to betaken with regards to the contamination. In some cases, this may involvedirecting the accredited person to undertake certain actions, for which traininghas been provided as part of the accreditation process.
6.2.6 Note that certain types of cargo can carry contamination that can ultimately contaminate the container. This may include items that are manufactured andstored outside awaiting shipping, such as bricks, pipes, and steel formwork. Ifcontamination of either the cargo or container is found, MAF must be notifiedas specified above.
6.2.7 The checks above, including any contamination observed and subsequent actions, are to be recorded in a manner acceptable to MAF and be madeavailable upon request.
6.2.8 Biosecurity clearance for the container may be issued by MAF, either as a result of MAF inspection or check by an accredited person withrecommendation to MAF for clearance.
6.3.1 Untreated wood packaging within a container must be checked by an accredited person to ensure it is clean new wood, free of bark, live organisms,insect damage and decay. If the wood does not meet these criteria, then aninspector must be notified for advice.
6.4.1 Containers with uncleared biosecurity risk cargo must be unpacked at a transitional facility that is approved for those risk goods as well as forreceiving containers. Containers without risk cargo that do not otherwiserequire inspection by a biosecurity inspector (see 6.2 and 6.3 above) may beunpacked at a transitional facility in the presence of an accredited person. If itcannot be ascertained from the information supplied or sought that thecontainer is free of biosecurity risk cargo, then the container must be unpackedat a transitional facility and any biosecurity risk cargo inspected at atransitional facility by an inspector.
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The minimum requirements for a transitional facility for container unpackingare: • a hard stand area upon which the container is placed during unloading • freedom from weeds, rubbish or debris for 3 metres around the container • a means of recording containers inspected, contamination or risk goods found and actions taken • a supply of dual-action aerosol insecticide having both knock-down and residual action properties (such as tetramethrin 4g/l for knock down andpermethrin 1g/l for residual).
• a secure receptacle for sweepings and/or other contamination • an operator (accredited person).
Minimum requirements for the accredited person: • must have sufficient authority within the company to make decisions concerning the unpacking of containers.
• required to have undertaken and passed a course in basic biosecurity awareness and container inspection that is approved by MAF.
Specific details regarding the operation and approval of transitional facilitiesare available in the border technical standard for transitional facilitiesRequirements for Transitional Facilities for Sea Containers. Approval of thetransitional facility and the operator will be by the Director, BorderManagement.
Alternative methods of dealing with the biosecurity risks associated withcontainers may be approved by the Director, Border Management on anindividual basis if the proposed system can be proven to provide an equivalentstandard of biosecurity efficacy as the existing standard. Examples include:inspection of containers prior to shipping, bilateral agreement with MAF'scounterpart organisation in an overseas country and automated containerwashing.
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All systems and facilities associated with the clearance of sea containers shallbe subject to audit. Where non-conformance during audits (or at other times)is found, MAF may suspend or cancel approval of the system or facility. If thenon-conformance is in respect of external contamination, related containersmay require MAF inspection at the port of discharge. If the non-conformanceis in internal contamination, packaging or cargo, containers may require MAFinspection during unpacking at transitional facility or wharf areas approved asfacilities for that purpose.
Where a quarantine declaration is false or intended to conceal a quarantinebreach, MAF will investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute under theBiosecurity Act 1993.
Note: details of the audit regime for container clearance, including actions taken for non-compliance, are contained in the document Audits of Sea Container Clearance Procedures.
Where a container check is carried out by an accredited person, there is nospecific charge by MAF.
Inspections and approvals and other functions undertaken by MAF will becharged as per the Biosecurity (Costs) Regulations 2003. This includesinspections carried out by MAF inspectors at the port of discharge or at atransitional facility.
Providing that a container meets the conditions of this import health standardit may be given a biosecurity clearance pursuant to section 26 of theBiosecurity Act 1993. Clearance will be issued by MAF after the unpackedcontainer has been found free of contamination by either a biosecurityinspector or an accredited person.
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All communications concerning this import health standard should be addressed to: Director, Border ManagementMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryP O Box 106231AucklandNEW ZEALANDFax: 64-9-369 5904 Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

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Quarantine Declaration to Accompany Containers to New Zealand
Packer or Exporter Letterhead Quarantine Declaration for Containers
Container Number or Numbers: Cleanliness and Restricted Packing and Packaging Declaration
At the time of packing, the container/s were inspected internally and externally, andare clean and free from contamination with live organisms, material of plant oranimal origin, soil and water. Yes No 2. Packaging Materials
Has any soil, peat, raw green or contaminated moss, used sacking material, hay,straw, chaff or any packing material contaminated with the above been used withinthe container/s listed above? . Yes No 3. Wood Packaging
Has any wood packaging been used within the container/s such as cases, crates,pallets or wood used to separate, brace, protect or secure cargo in transit?. Yes No 3a. If yes to 3 above, has the wood been treated? . Yes No 3b. If yes to 3a above, how was the wood treated? .
3c. Is a certificate for the treatment of this wood available?. Yes No I certify that the above is true and correct.
If the information required above is not supplied or is
found to be erroneous, it may result in significant delays
and increased costs on arrival in New Zealand.
Import Health Standard for Sea Containers from All Countries

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