MPI Industry Notification - BMSB and beyond

Please see the below notice that we have received from Mark Bateman - MPI.

The last few weeks have been extremely busy from a BMSB perspective and I am extremely pleased to be able to advise you that our systems and processes have been working extremely well, creating a number of finds right across the biosecurity system layers.
 
This has created inevitable delays in our service delivery but the results have proven these actions necessary and at this stage I am happy to report that our efforts have managed to keep our shores free from this virulent pest, which will have devastating consequences if it does get through and become endemic in New Zealand. Unfortunately, our findings are highlighting an increasing risk from BMSB this year and with around 60 intercepts since September, including a number of large aggregations, we are now in a position where we must increase our safeguards in order to ensure that we can maintain appropriate vigilance and security across high risk pathways.
 
With three serious finds, including large aggregations in the last two weeks, we have now amended our automated alerting process to capture ‘country of origin’ and ‘country of export’ for FCL and we will also be providing manual checks on all LCL and FAK going forward. Additionally, 100% of containers ex Italy will be checked and devanned under MPI supervision.
 
Unfortunately this will take time and resource to achieve and we expect an exponential increase in delays to occur as our Target Evaluation and Border Clearance teams work to maintain oversight and appropriate auditing. We also anticipate that further additional process steps may be required in order to manage this threat and we recognise that this may also have impact on your respective consignments and businesses.
 
This is an unfortunate circumstance for all and we recommend that you continue to submit documentation as early as possible to minimise the impact of delays. We will continue to manage urgent applications for perishable and qualifying items, but we cannot guarantee rapidity of any application at this time and respectfully request your understanding, support and cooperation while we manage this threat to our shores.
 
As new information becomes available we will continue to assess and refine our alerts to best manage and mitigate the risk presented with BMSB.  The pest continues to spread overseas and we must be prepared to counter the threat wherever it arises.  We will remain as fluid as possible with regard to drawing down from these necessary security actions and will endeavour to keep you appraised of the situation as the season progresses.
 
Whilst you can be assured of our complete focus and attention to a safe and speedy transition of your goods through the border, we apologise for any inconvenience that these actions may cause and thank you for your continued support for our continued vigilance.

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