New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has issued Notices of Direction to vessels informing them to stay outside New Zealand territorial waters until their hulls are cleaned. However, there are no cleaning facilities in New Zealand.

For its part, Intertanko’s Environmental Committee opened a dialogue with the MPI and has produced this guidance for ships calling New Zealand.

The guide sort the vessels into two different categories based on their intended stay period in New Zealand:

  • Short-stay vessels - those staying in New Zealand for less than 21 days, and only visiting approved ports of first arrival:
  • Long-stay vessels - those staying 21 days or longer, or visiting areas not approved as ports of first arrival.

For short-stay vessels, they must arrive in New Zealand with a 'clean hull'. That means that no biofouling of live organisms is present other than that within the thresholds in Appendix 2 of the CRMS.

In addition, one of the following measures must be applied before arriving in New Zealand’s territorial waters:

  • Cleaning before visit to New Zealand or immediately upon arrival in a facility or by a system approved by MPI;
  • Biofouling must be removed from all parts of the hull and niche areas through cleaning that is carried out less than 30 days before arrival to New Zealand or within 24 hrs after arrival;
  • Continual maintenance using best practices such as those within the IMO biofouling guidelines, including the application of appropriate coatings; operation of marine growth prevention systems on sea-chests; and in-water inspections with biofouling removal as required.

Proof of this must be provided to the MPI in advance.

Moreover, MPI requires information from vessels to be sent 48 hours before entry to New Zealand and the following information must be held on the vessel:

  • Intended length of stay and intended places to be visited;
  • Whether the vessel has spent any extended periods of a stationary nature in a single location;
  • Age of the antifouling coating, including when it was applied and when it expires;
  • If the vessel is coming to undergo biofouling cleaning on arrival, any formal arrangement for cleaning or treatment that they have undertaken;
  • Measures that have been or will be used to meet the requirements of the standard;
  • Whether the operator or person in charge has developed an MPI-approved Craft Risk Management Plan to comply with the required Standard.

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If vessels are suspected of surpassing the biofouling thresholds, MPI will request further proof of biofouling management. If the ship cannot prove that it complies with the standard, it may be subject to a dive inspection in New Zealand. Finally, non-compliant vessels will be directed to either manage the biosecurity risk or to leave New Zealand.

Regarding ballast water, the MPI advised that the IMO contingency measures set out in BWM.2/Circ.62 would be considered in situations where a ship is not able to manage its ballast water as required.

New Zealand has also identified an area off the North Island’s east coast that can be used for ballast exchange, if the usual methods are unavailable.

See more details in the following PDF