Why is Your Shipment Delayed? (How to Avoid Common Issues)

3-minute read

Many importers and exporters question why does it take so long to go through the New Zealand border? Easy Freight has received the following update from MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries). Unfortunately, it happens several times a year and it is not an isolated case. Therefore, we recommend that you send documents to your Customs broker at least 2-3 weeks before it arrives in New Zealand.

Right now we have 1904 Biosecurity Clearance Certificate applications in our work queue.

We are processing sea applications that were due to be done by mid-afternoon Wednesday and air applications that were due first thing this morning. We have 300 air applications in the queue and 1600 sea applications.

I apologise for the problems this is causing you and your clients. We are experiencing large volumes at the moment; most applications do not seem to be related to Christmas, but the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug alerts (which weren’t in place last year) are creating a lot of work for us all.

At present I think the AF9 scheme is saving us having to process another 150 applications per day, so please keep using it! In the immediate future, we’re working hard to extend the use of the AF9 number (the low-risk wood profile is an example), and we’re adding as many resources as we can to processing the queue.

Longer term we’re adding 7 or 8 new staff to the Target Evaluation Team and are undertaking a roster review that will possibly extend our hours of operation. We do offer urgency, and I know a lot of you are using it.

This site has information about our MPI client schemes and some other information that you may find useful. I also attach a document listing some of the common issues we’re finding.

Again you have my apologies for the inconvenience our delayed service is causing you.

Jim McLaggan

Operations Branch

Auckland Biosecurity Centre, Jimmy Ward Crescent, PO Box 53 066

Auckland Airport 2150, New Zealand

Telephone: +64-9 909 3030


Common Issues with Biosecurity Clearance Certificate Applications

  • Coffee beans/products – MPI are only interested in green beans. All other types of coffee are not of interest. Let us know what you have.
  • New or used? – Apart from the BMSB (Brown marmorated stink bug) and the USA we don’t have an interest in the new equipment. Please let us know if you have the new or used equipment.
  • What is it? – Serial numbers or technical descriptions often aren’t enough to make biosecurity risk decisions. Avoid us asking by providing a description we can understand.
  • Artificial flowers – Are they really artificial? Let us know.
  • Baskets – What are they made of?
  • Trophies – What are they; remember we have a direct interest in hunting trophies (biosecurity and CITES). Tell us what you have.
  • Up to date permit – The permit to import has an expiry date. Sometimes the permit is superseded before the expiry date.
  • Seed for sowing – Always provide the genus and species name
  • Legumes – Are they split or whole? This often makes a big difference to how we treat then so we’ll often be asking.
  • Transitional facility – Tell us where the cargo is. Nominate a facility for inspection that you know is approved for the type of product you’re dealing with.
  • Cables and electrical cord – If you have a full container containing cable you’ll get an “INTERNAL” message. We will be asking about any cable drums that may be present and made of nonconforming wood packaging.

More MPI Front-line Staff

Nearly 50 new front-line staff will help the Ministry for Primary Industries to protect New Zealand.  The staff graduated last week at a ceremony at Auckland. They include 40 quarantine officers and seven fisheries officers.

The new quarantine officers will work at the border to halt risk goods that have the potential to carry pests or diseases, said Steve Gilbert, MPPs Border Clearance director.  The new appointments follow nearly seven weeks of operational training, including an 18-day stint at the Burham military camp, near  Christchurch.

“All MPI front-line roles require dedication, camaraderie and discipline — so the military camp is an important part of the training.” He says MPI expects to employ nearly 90 new front-line border staff by the end of the year.

We’d love to answer any of your questions! Contact us now

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