Tuesday 18 October 2016 10:44 AM
MPI blocks palm kernel-carrying ship from NZ over biosecurity risks
By Sophie Boot
Oct. 18 (BusinessDesk) - A ship carrying 23,000 tonnes of palm kernel expeller (PKE) will not be allowed to unload its cargo in New Zealand, the Ministry for Primary Industries said.
The MV Molat has been anchored off Tauranga since Sept. 6, when it was blocked from docking after MPI discovered some of its cargo had come from an unregistered PKE facility in Malaysia.The agency has made the decision after considering an application from the importer to have the PKE treated in New Zealand, it said.
“We spent a lot of time assessing whether there was a solution that would meet biosecurity requirements, but unfortunately nothing ticks all the boxes in terms of mitigating the risk of pests and diseases entering New Zealand,” MPI's border clearance services director, Steve Gilbert, said in a statement. “My decision ensures that potentially contaminated PKE will not enter New Zealand. MPI has a lead role in protecting New Zealand from biosecurity risk. It’s a job we take very seriously."
MPI considered the amount of product involved, the availability of heat treatment facilities in the region, transport, and storage in making its decision. The biosecurity requirements for PKE include heat processing to at least 85 degrees and that foreign facilities be approved and regularly audited by the exporting country.