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New Zealand November Update

TSW – Computer Issues

New Zealand Customs primary messaging system has been experiencing outages that have prevented clearances to be processed nationwide. Customs are aware of these issues and are working actively on solutions

MPI – Processing Time

November is looking to be a very busy period for imports into New Zealand. MPI are wanting to alert importers to ensure that applications are lodged as early as possible to minimise any possible delays in processing

Port Tauranga / Metro Port – MPI

The Port of Tauranga over the last twelve months has been reviewing its container volumes and specifically containers with MPI clearances.  It found that a considerable number of containers were left at the ports without MPI clearance. As of such these containers cannot be railed until MPI clearances have been processed and approved.  The number of containers that fall into this category continues to increase. This is having a negative effect on the container yard due to congestion and additional terminal moves to reposition containers

The Port of Tauranga will be introducing a cost recovery fee of $150 per container if the container remains without clearance after 48 hours of the vessel arrival.

MPI  Transitional Facility (TF )

Over the past three years, MPI has taken a more robust management approach to provide confidence across how TFs are managed. This is because the 720,000 sea containers entering New Zealand every year represent a significant pathway for the potential entry of contaminants and hitchhiker organisms.

The dispersal of biosecurity risk material is inadvertently increased by these containers being moved to thousands of widely separated TFs across New Zealand. This is compared with the limited number of air and sea ports in New Zealand that provide biosecurity clearance for millions of passengers and other risk goods. There is also significant variation with the scale of TF operations, ranging from processing a single container per year to many thousands.

The proposed approaches are to:

  1. Increase our enforcement options by introducing infringements for non-compliant TFs.
  2. Introduce increased security requirements.
    1. Devan the container inside a secure building or hold a container in a secure fully fenced (at least 1.8m high) area
    2. Have a lockable gate
    3. Lock the container, for example, secure with a substantial padlock

This needs to be done by the 1st September 2019 for existing TFs to apply

  1. Applying a minimum number of containers that must be imported per year for approval i.e. 5 containers per year
  2. Introducing online internal audit reporting. 

This edition also includes updates on caravan inspections, what TF Operators need to do if they voluntarily cancel their TF approval, new import rules to stop brown marmorated stink bug, proposal on 100% AP reporting through the Container Check Portal, and other relevant information. Given these are important changes, we will also be sending an email to all TF Operators

Empty Container Dehire  Yards

The other Auckland container depots are at capacity and do not have the ability to grant extensions as they once did.

As an industry we have been working with the POAL to get the message out about the constraints within the supply chain.

Overview of POAL and Depots today

MCP: Depot full – no bookings available for inwards moves. It is our understanding that existing bookings for inward moves will only be honoured if there are corresponding moves for empty export containers – though this does not guarantee that de-hires will be accepted.

POAL: Bookings available with 48 hours’ notice, 72 hours if early morning.

Metroport: At capacity, limited flexibility with turnaround times of more than two hours.

Hugo Johnson: Restricted inward bookings

UCL: Restricted inward bookings

PierPass 2.0 Flat Fee

On 19 November the PierPass extended gates program will be making changes to its fee structure in the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. 

PierPass Inc. was set up as a non-profit by the Terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to address issues with congestion, air quality and security.
In 2005 they launched an Off-peak program to help with severe cargo-related congestion on local streets and highways.  Off-peak established regular night and Saturday work shifts to handle the increased volume of imports and exports for both Ports.  To help incentivize the use of the night shift, it was agreed a fee would be charged for all day time movements and any movements during the night shift would not incur this fee.
Announced Changes
Informally referred to as PierPass 2.0 the PierPass Off-peak Program will change from 19 November.  The current congestion-pricing model with a Traffic Mitigation Fee, charged on daytime moves in or out of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will be replaced with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee for both Day and Night container moves.
The new fee will be accompanied by mandatory trucker appointments at all 12 container terminals, nine of which already require appointments.  Terminal operators will use the appointments to manage truck traffic.
Key Points
  • Pier Pass will be reduced from USD72.09/TEU to USD31.52/TEU.
  • It will now be charged on all Day or Night moves, as opposed to the current model which sees charges levied on only day time movements.
  • All ports will run an appointment system, with the Trucker given a 2-hour window to collect. This may take away some of the current flexibility on arranging delivery windows for both import and export.

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

A new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation aimed at significantly reducing sulphur emissions in the shipping industry will enter into force in 2020. Even though this is still over a year away, the industry is already dealing with the topic due to the massive increases in ship-operating costs it will involve. In order to offer its customers better predictability of bunker costs, shipping lines are looking at a tailored Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) in January 2019.