March 1, 2018

In recent weeks, a number of car carriers have been turned away from New Zealand ports after brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) were found in cargoes of used cars and machinery.  New Zealand is a mainly agricultural economy with strict border protection measures to guard against unwanted pests.  Pests such as BMSBs have the potential to seriously damage the fruit and vegetable industry in New Zealand.

Fumigation poses problems as the recommended methyl bromide fumigant damages the upholstery and rubber components in the vehicles and at present the other recommended fumigant, sulfuryl, is not licensed for use in New Zealand.  There are reports of ships being diverted to Australia or to New Caledonia to try and deal with the BMSBs on board, but it is not clear whether any long-term solutions have been found.

We are grateful to P&I Services in Auckland for this update and Members affected should contact P&I Services for further information.