STC Number - 440

New Zealand's draft import health standard for vehicles, machinery and equipment

Maintained by: New Zealand
Raised by: Japan
Supported by:
First date raised: July 2018 G/SPS/R/92/Rev.1, paras. 4.2-4.3
Dates subsequently raised: November 2018 (G/SPS/R/93, paras. 3.68-3.69)
March 2019 (G/SPS/R/94, paras. 3.102-3.103)
Number of times subsequently raised: 2
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/NZL/570; G/SPS/N/NZL/570/Add.1
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Plant Health
Keywords: Transparency; Risk assessment; Plant health; Pests
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In July 2018, Japan raised a concern regarding New Zealand's Import Health Standard for Vehicles, Machinery and Equipment from Japan, notified in document G/SPS/N/NZL/570/Add.1 on 30 May 2018. Japan noted that only nine days had been granted to provide comments and 93 days between the notification and its entry into force. Approximately 300,000 new and used vehicles and machinery were exported to New Zealand every year. Satisfying the new requirements implied extensive costs and efforts and, thus, also sufficient time to prepare. Japan expressed appreciation to New Zealand's efforts to extend the deadline for comments (up to 33 days). However, Japan regretted that its request for the extension up to six months of the entry into force had not been accepted. Japan argued that New Zealand's measures should be based on scientific principles in accordance with the SPS Agreement, and assumed that the basis of the new measures proposed by New Zealand referred to the report "Risk analysis of Halyomorpha halys (brown marmorated stink bug) on all pathways" issued by New Zealand in November 2012. However, Japan noted that the mentioned report did not provide any explicit scientific evidence to justify the new measures on new vehicles and machinery imported from Japan. In addition, Japan recalled that SPS measures should not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate among Members. Whereas fumigation or heat treatments on used vehicles and machinery from Japan would be mandatory from 1 September to 30 April every year; they would not be mandatory for products from the United States or Italy. Finally, Japan requested that New Zealand provide at least 60 days for comments, and to ensure at least six months between the notification and the entry into force of the measure.

New Zealand noted that the notification mentioned by Japan was an addendum to the previous notification which had been notified in December 2017, providing 60 days for comments. New Zealand acknowledged Japan's comments and emphasised the significant risk to New Zealand, which led to measures being taken to ensure safe trade, while adhering to all SPS Agreement obligations. New Zealand added that a technical meeting in Tokyo as well as bilateral meetings on the margins of the current meeting had been held on this issue.

In November 2018, Japan reiterated its concern on New Zealand's SPS measures for vehicles, machinery and equipment from Japan notified on 30 May 2018. Japan recalled that a specific trade concern had been raised at the July 2018 Committee meeting, stressing that measures implemented by New Zealand should be based on sufficient scientific evidence, should not arbitrarily discriminate among Members, and should ensure sufficient time for comments. Despite the concern raised in July 2018, the new measures had entered into force on 1 September 2018. Japan highlighted that the measures put in place by New Zealand lacked scientific justification. Furthermore, the time-period between the notification and the entry into force of the measure had been insufficient. Japan encouraged New Zealand to base its measures on scientific principles, in accordance with Article 2.2 of the SPS Agreement, and reported that the scientific evidence provided by New Zealand had not included clarification on: (i) detection data of Halyomorpha halys (brown marmorated stink bug) from consignments, especially machinery exported to New Zealand from Japan; (ii) analysis of likelihood based on effective accumulated temperature on the introduction and establishment of Halyomorpha halys in New Zealand; and (iii) the rationale to establish on 1 September 2018 as entry into force of the regulation. Japan urged New Zealand to clarify these points and review the existing pest risk analysis. Japan also reminded New Zealand that SPS measures should not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate among Members where identical or similar conditions prevailed. Finally, Japan highlighted that New Zealand had requested heat or fumigation treatment of used vehicles and used machinery for a certain period of time. However, Japan noted that this requirement had not been mandatory for other countries.

New Zealand considered the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) a very serious pest with potentially significant implications on agriculture, aquaculture, and New Zealand's environment. New Zealand underlined that BMSB had been intercepted in vehicles and machinery arriving from Japan, and noted that there were very limited options to manage BMSB. New Zealand was of the view that the measures put in place were consistent with SPS principles and New Zealand's appropriate level of protection. In addition, New Zealand expressed its appreciation for the collaborative work with Japan and hoped to continue to work together in resolving this matter.

In March 2019, Japan reiterated its concern on New Zealand's import health standard for vehicles, machinery and equipment. In May 2018, New Zealand had notified new measures against brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), which applied to used and new vehicles. Japan argued that a complete pest risk analysis was necessary to identify the pathway of BMSB and to prioritize SPS measures. Japan explained that its auto industry suffered from New Zealand's measures requiring a pre-approval on the transportation route of brand-new cars and heat treatment or fumigation for used cars, in advance of their export. Japan appreciated the bilateral consultations with New Zealand since the refusal of entry of vessels carrying Japanese cars in February 2018, and reiterated its request for New Zealand to review its measure. Japan queried the scientific basis of its measure and the detection of BMSB, and sought clarification on the conditions for the potential establishment and spread of BMSB.

New Zealand underlined the cooperative exchange with Japan on this issue and further noted that their trade was mutually beneficial. New Zealand highlighted that the BMSB was a significant regulated pest that would result in substantial negative effects if it was established in New Zealand. New Zealand had provided Japan with the scientific references on the ability and likelihood of survival of BMSB under the temperate environmental conditions in New Zealand. BMSB had been found on multiple types of new and used vehicle consignments, which were not segregated in the hold. New Zealand would notify a revised import health standard by early April for consultation, which it anticipated would be finalized in July and come into effect in early September 2019.