New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released guidance to help the incoming vessels to comply with the country’s new biofouling rules.

The country is set to launch its new standard for biofouling next month, mandating all commercial and recreational vessel operators to manage biofouling on their vessels prior to entering New Zealand waters.

MPI biosecurity and environment group manager Paul Hallett said: “Biofouling presents a major biosecurity risk to New Zealand.

“The new standard aims to reduce this risk and protect our unique marine environment and our aquaculture industries by ensuring vessels arrive with a clean hull.

“Over the past four years, MPI has been working incredibly hard to ensure everyone is aware and ready to comply when the standard goes live in May.”

“MPI has been working incredibly hard to ensure everyone is aware and ready to comply when the standard goes live in May.”

MPI has also unveiled a guidance document for the operators to develop customised Craft Risk Management Plans, which will help the vessels that will not be able to meet the new biofouling standard.

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Vessels with unique operating profiles, including cruise ships and fishing vessels, are expected to use the Craft Risk Management Plans option.

MPI will also review the documents supplied by the operator to evaluate the biofouling risk of the vessel before it arrives in New Zealand.

MPI has also warned that the vessels that are unable to comply with the biofouling regulations may have to reschedule or redirect their journey.

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