Intertanko guides members on NZ biofouling regulations

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) has produced a Guide to New Zealand’s biofouling and ballast water requirements that offers guidance to Members on New Zealand’s biofouling and ballast water requirements for commercial vessels.

The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has issued Notices of Direction to vessels informing them to stay outside New Zealand territorial waters until their hulls are cleaned, despite the fact that there are no cleaning facilities in New Zealand. INTERTANKO said that its Environmental Committee had opened a dialogue with the MPI and as a result produced a guidance.

Members visiting New Zealand were also encouraged to review ‘General information for commercial vessels’ and ‘Craft Risk Management Standard’ which provide key resources on MPI’s website to better understand New Zealand’s biofouling requirements.

Intertanko said that Members’ experiences with New Zealand’s biofouling regulations (Craft Risk Management Standard – CRMS) were up for discussion at the September 2018 meeting of INTERTANKO’s Environmental Committee. ts:

  1. Vessels are sorted into two different categories based on their intended stay period in New Zealand.
  • Short-stay vessels – those staying in New Zealand for less than 21 days, and only visiting approved ports of first arrival.
  • Long-stay vessels – those staying 21 days or longer, or visiting areas not approved as ports of first arrival. Comments Most commercial vessels will fall under the Short-stay vessel category. Long-stay vessels must adhere to stricter requirements.
  1. Requirements for Short-stay vessels:
  • Vessel must arrive in New Zealand with a “clean hull, which refers to no biofouling of live organisms being present other than that within the thresholds in Appendix 2 of the CRMS
  1. Acceptable measures for meeting the CRMS
  • Prior to arrival in New Zealand’s territorial waters. Proof of cleaning before visit to New Zealand or immediately upon arrival in a facility or by a system approved by MPI, must be provided.
  • Biofouling must be removed from all parts of the hull and niche areas through cleaning that is carried out less than 30 days before arrival to New Zealand or within 24 hrs after arrival Comments
  • Members should note that facilities in New Zealand are limited, as haul out/dry docking is the only approved treatment at the moment. It is only available for smaller vessels with a length of up to 120 metres, as large dry docks do not exist in NZ. Haul out facilities for smaller vessels are available at Opua (Northland), Tauranga, and Lyttelton.
  • For larger vessels (with a length of more than 120m), New Zealand encourages proactive biofouling management, as larger vessels cannot be cleaned in New Zealand. A 180m dry dock at Devonport is seeking approval to operate as a transitional facility (a formally approved place that can receive vessels with biosecurity risks). If required, this dry dock can be used as a contingency transitional facility with the necessary approvals from MPI in advance of entering New Zealand.
  • Currently there are no areas where in-water cleaning is allowed in New Zealand.
  1. MPI requires information from vessels to be sent 48 hours prior to entry to New Zealand and the following information must be held on the vessel
  • Prior to Arrival
  1. Intended length of stay and intended places to be visited
  2. Whether the vessel has spent any extended periods of a stationary nature in a single location

iii.              Age of the antifouling coating, including when it was applied and when it expires iv. If the vessel is coming to undergo biofouling cleaning on arrival, any formal arrangement for cleaning or treatment that they have undertaken

  1. Measures that have been or will be used to meet the requirements of the standard, or
  2. Whether the operator or person in charge has developed an MPI-approved Craft Risk Management Plan ( to meet the required Standard

A plan can be developed if a vessel operator cannot meet the CRMS biofouling requirements by one of the three required measures accepted by the MPI. The Plan must achieve the desired effect of MPI’s biofouling requirements (clean hull thresholds) but may use a different method to do so. The Plan must outline the ways the risk will be managed, and be submitted to MPI for approval in advance of entering New Zealand waters.