Strict New Zealand rules for managing biofouling will come into force in May 2018

Overview

Stricter biofouling rules for ship calling New Zealand beginning May 2018. Marine pests and diseases introduced to New Zealand on ship hulls are a potential threat to the marine environment and resources. From May 2018, all commercial and recreational ships arriving in New Zealand will need to have a clean hull.

Members may remember how in the beginning of 2017 bulk carrier DL Marigold was ordered to leave New Zealand waters because it had dense fouling of barnacles and tube worms on the ship's hull. This was the first time a ship had been ordered to leave a New Zealand waters because of biofouling. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) used a new set of rules in the interim period to do so.

From 1st May 2018 all ships arriving in New Zealand will be required to have a clean hull in accordance with the Craft Risk Management Standard for Biofouling (CRMS). In order to comply with the new standard, ships will be required to carry and provide proof of biofouling management. 

Ships staying in New Zealand waters for less than 3 weeks can abide by the new rules by following the best practice guidelines on biofouling management released by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2011.

Ships that plan to stay longer than 3 weeks and/or visit multiple ports will encounter more restrictions. Ships that do not meet the requirements of the standard may face delays, cleaning expenses, or experience itinerary or entry restrictions.

For more information regarding New Zealand’s biofouling rules, please see the MPI website.

For more information on biofouling please see here.

Aron Soerensen
in Copenhagen, DK

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