New biosecurity fines introduced for vessel operators


Commercial and recreational vessels will soon be fined by Biosecurity NZ officers if they don’t play by the rules

Following the April introduction of fines for containment and transitional facilities for actions that could allow invasive pests and diseases into New Zealand, new infringement notices will come into force on 2 September 2019.

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Biosecurity New Zealand officers will be able to issue infringement notices to commercial and recreational vessel operators who don’t provide notice of a vessel’s arrival in the country.

Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Stu Rawnsley added that vessels that don’t respond to an official request to declare they have done to comply with risk management requirements will also face a fine.

"Ultimately, we want masters to supply the required information to us as early as possible. This is to ensure we can target our efforts at vessels that pose the greatest biosecurity risk to New Zealand.

"The fines are aimed at lower-level offences that would have required prosecution to enforce in the past. We still have the option to prosecute if necessary.

"The infringement option gives us an additional tool to encourage vessels to take their biosecurity responsibilities seriously.

"We are also keen to do what we can to encourage voluntary compliance among vessel operators."

The penalties for the offences are $400 for an individual and $800 for a corporation.

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