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Simple biosecurity solution ignored

22 August 2003

Simple biosecurity solution ignored – Shipping Federation

The New Zealand Shipping Federation today said biosecurity would always be significantly disadvantaged while foreign vessels were permitted to carry domestic cargo around New Zealand’s ports.

The Federation’s Manager, Paul Nicholas, said New Zealand ship owners welcomed the move towards 100 per cent inspections but were concerned that obvious solutions to the biosecurity problem had been overlooked.

“Allowing foreign vessels to import containers and then carry domestic cargo around New Zealand ports significantly increases the risk of biosecurity incursions,” said Mr Nicholas.

“New Zealand is unique amongst our major trading partners in allowing foreign vessels to distribute domestic cargo, and this could certainly be behind New Zealand’s high rates of biosecurity incursions.”

The United States, Japan, Australia and the European Union are among countries that restrict foreign vessels from carrying domestic cargo.

“Preventing foreign ships from some of the world’s most high-risk ports from hopping around our coast delivering domestic cargo would be the most practical, cost-effective and low-impact step we could take in significantly reducing our biosecurity risk,” said Mr Nicholas.

“The New Zealand Shipping Federation acknowledges the work and consultation that has gone into this new inspection regime but it seems crazy to us that the single most effective step we could have taken has been overlooked.”

The New Zealand Shipping Federation is an association of New Zealand’s domestic shipping companies.

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