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Sea Container Review

Import News from the Importers Institute

29 May 2001 - Sea Container Review

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is going to do a survey of shipping containers to obtain information for a new import health standard. They need this information to ensure the requirements for containers are commensurate with the risk they pose.

The objectives of this survey are:

1. To ascertain the true internal contamination rate for both certified (with cleaning certificates) and uncertified sea containers entering the country

2. To determine the nature of contaminants arriving via this pathway.

3. To test whether probe cameras are an effective and efficient tool for container inspection

4. To verify the accuracy of the manifested contents.

5. To determine the efficacy of the current door inspection methods for sea containers entering the country.

6. To ascertain the movements of imported sea containers within NZ.

The survey will take place in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier and Lyttleton over a period of one year (to take account of seasonality). MAF already inspects approximately 23% of the containers landed in New Zealand. MAF will not inspect any more containers on the wharf than are currently inspected and no delays should occur in the wharf area.

2000 containers will also be re-inspected during and after devanning. This means that a MAF inspector will be present during devanning at the importers' premises. Extra staff will be taken on to carry out these inspections and MAF will make every effort to ensure that an inspector is available when these containers are being devanned. It is possible that, from time to time, an inspector may be unavailable at the exact time a container is to be devanned.

The cost of the survey is fully Government funded and there are no extra charges to shipping companies, ports, agents, importers etc for these inspections. The survey is expected to commence at the beginning of July 2001.

MAF requests the co-operation of importers in the completion of this survey. If you have any queries or complaints pertaining to the survey please contact:

Ken Glassey - Programme Co-ordinator (Border Management) Telephone 04 498 9610 or 025 249 2318 email:


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