May 15 start for New Zealand biofouling rules

From May 15, all commercial and recreational vessel operators will have to show they have managed biofouling on their vessels before they enter New Zealand waters.

New Zealand will become the first country in the world to introduce a nationwide standard for biofouling.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released guidelines to help vessel operators how they can comply.

A guidance document for developing customised craft risk management plans has also been released.

“We understand that not all vessels will be able to meet the compliance measures outlined in the standard,” said MPI’s biosecurity and environment group manager Paul Hallett.

“Craft risk management plans allow these vessels to develop a more tailored compliance plan to manage the biofouling.”

MPI will assess the biofouling risk of the vessel before its arrival based on documents supplied by the operator.

 “Vessels that are unable to comply with the new regulations may have their schedules interrupted or restricted, or even face the possibility of being directed to leave New Zealand territory,” Mr Hallett said.

“These measures will all be at the expense of the vessel owner or operator.”

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