New biofouling requirements poised to enter force in New Zealand from May 2018

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued a notice announcing that all vessels arriving in New Zealand must have clean hulls from May 2018 as new biofouling regulations are set to become law. The Craft Risk Management Standard (CRMS) has been developed to provide guidance regarding compliance.

From May 2018, vessels must arrive in New Zealand with a clean hull. Vessels staying up to 20 days and only visiting designated ports (places of first arrival) will be allowed a slight amount of biofouling. Vessels staying longer and visiting other places will only be allowed a slime layer and goose barnacles.

Aligning New Zealand’s rules with international guidelines

New Zealand’s CRMS requirements are based on the International Maritime Organisation’s Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species. These provide examples of management best practice in this area.

Complying with new biofouling requirements

You will be able to meet the new clean hull requirements by doing one of the following:
– cleaning the vessel hull before arrival in New Zealand (less than 30 days before arrival)
– doing continual maintenance on the hull
– treating organisms on the hull (for example, with heat or chemicals) to kill them or make them sterile.

You can also submit an alternative approach to preventing unwanted marine pests (a craft risk management plan) to MPI for approval. For advice, email MPI.

What is continual maintenance?

Continual maintenance involves ongoing management, including:
– having a biofouling management plan specific to the vessel
– coating the hull with antifouling paint to prevent or minimise biofouling
– regularly inspecting and cleaning the hull
– keeping records to show how the process is managed.

Click to read the Craft Risk Management Standard: New Zealand regulation changes

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