New Zealand – Biofouling Regulatory Requirements

18th July 2018

Compliance with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) “Biofouling on Vessel Arriving to New Zealand - Craft Risk Management Standard (CRMS)” became mandatory on 15th May 2018, which requires all vessels arriving in New Zealand to have a clean hull to prevent the introduction of unwanted organisms.

Vessels are required to provide evidence of compliance with the regulatory requirements prior to arrival, as well as conducting continued maintenance using best practices as contained in the IMO biofouling guidelines.

Vessels considered by the MPI to have excessive biofouling affecting their hull, including more difficult to clean “niche” areas (sea chests / thruster gratings and tunnels / spectacle frames / azipods etc.), can be ordered to leave the country’s territorial waters for hull cleaning. However, it has been made clear that cleaning just outside the 12’ limit of territorial waters will be viewed in a very poor light by the MPI.

The Club’s Correspondents in Auckland, P&I Services, have published three circulars containing general guidance on the MPI’s requirements and expectations:

Full details on the biofouling regulatory requirements can be found on the MPI’s website:

To date, the MPI has strictly implemented the requirements, and have not been open to any negotiation. Further, neighbouring jurisdictions have apparently been unwilling to allow cleaning of the hulls of ships that have been ordered to leave New Zealand waters. In one case a vessel ended up having her hull cleaned, at great expense, off Fiji.

Members requiring any further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.

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