TPT would like to share this recent communication from MPI regarding biofouling related delays:

biofouling-delaysMPI is aware that vessels are facing a potential rise in congestion related delays at some of New Zealand’s ports due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. MPI would like to assure you that we are aware of the situation and remind you of some tips to help reduce the likelihood of further delays.

We are currently seeing a rise in vessels asking to extend their stay beyond 20 days, therefore becoming long-stay vessels. When vessels are categorised as long-stay, they must meet stricter biofouling requirements as biofouling risk increases over time.

Last year we ran a webinar series about this issue and worked closely with the shipping industry to encourage proactive biofouling management. We have seen that many vessel operators have incorporated proactive biofouling management and contingency planning into their usual operating plan. This means that they are well prepared for itinerary disruptions and face fewer biosecurity-related costs and delays when congestion issues arise. Our previous webinar and information on how to mitigate port congestion issues can be found on our website.

MPI strongly recommends vessel operators who think they may face congestion issues in NZ take the following steps before leaving for New Zealand to ensure that their vessels have a clean hull on arrival. This may reduce any additional biosecurity-related costs and delays, should unforeseen itinerary disruptions occur:

    • Organise an underwater inspection of hull and niche areas and remove all biofouling found. This is particularly important if the AFC is nearing the end of its service life or if the vessel’s most recent report is over 6 months old or showed any remaining fouling.
    • Ensure that your most recent underwater inspection or underwater cleaning report is supplied to MPI. If MPI already have your most recent inspection report, you will not need to resend it.
    • Ensure that all other relevant paperwork is supplied to MPI in a timely manner.
    • Notify MPI of any impending delays in New Zealand when you become aware of any.
    • Reach out to MPI prior to departure for New Zealand if you are unsure about whether to action biofouling, or to seek further advice. You can contact [email protected] or [email protected].

Remember that imminent arrivals must take priority for our Vessel Target Evaluation Team so, if you are sending paperwork far in advance, allow up to 5 working days in your planning time.

Please be aware that vessels will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Providing up to date information showing evidence of compliance allows MPI to effectively assess any risk your vessel may pose.