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New border regulation hits exports to Australia

New border regulation hits exports to Australia

Palleted goods going to Australia are to be hit with mandatory fumigation from February 2nd adding time delays and costs for exporters, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"From Sunday, goods on wooden pallets exported to Australia have to be fumigated and the supplier or packer of the goods has to provide evidence of this," said Bruce Goldsworthy, EMA's Manager of Manufacturing Services.

"The new requirements will add about $10 to a pallet, delay its arrival by a day, and require another form to be filled in.

"The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) first decreed the regulation was to apply several months ago but an outcry stayed their hand until now.

"The requirement applies to all goods entering Australia, not just from New Zealand, but nevertheless under the CER agreement we are certain New Zealand should have been at least consulted first, if not excused from it.

"We had to learn of the regulation directly from AQIS - no New Zealand government agency thought to advise exporters of it.

"The AQIS decree is similar to the food inspection regime it decided to impose on all imports about seven years ago without prior notification.

"We advise exporters to talk to their freight forwarding company for more information. The cost doesn't apply to plastic pallets.

"New Zealand exports over $5 billion of goods to Australia each year, and imports over $6 billion from Australia. We're considering asking our Border Control Services to apply the same fumigation time lag and costs to Australian imports coming here."

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