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How To Clean Your Vehicle to MAF Standards

Posted on January 15, 2015

How To Clean Your Vehicle to MAF Standards

New Zealand news reports are always chock-full of stories about bugs, weavils, spiders and other nasties which have crawled their way through customs and threaten our way of life.

But when we’re so reliant on fruit, milk and animal exports it makes perfect sense for us to be pretty vigilant when it comes to what’s crossing our borders.

At McCullough, it’s our business to cross those borders daily and we take pride in playing our part to keep New Zealand as pest-free as we found it.

So here’s our step-by-step guide to what you need to ensure you’ve done to bring a clean and pest-free vehicle into New Zealand.

  1. If you are importing a vehicle, the government has strict rules on how you clean what you bring in neatly summed up as “All vehicles/machinery imported into New Zealand must be cleaned, internally and externally, including those areas not accessible to physical inspection, to ensure that biosecurity risk organisms are not present”. In reality this means steam-cleaning, fumigating and scrubbing everything from internal upholstery to under the bonnet.
  2. Vehicles in the following categories require mandatory decontamination, either through fumigation, heat treatment or other approved equivalent means:
    • Used vehicle/machinery parts, including vehicles/machinery imported for dismantling,
    • Used vehicles from the United States of America, unless evidence can be provided indicating the vehicles are free of biosecurity contaminants (e.g., recently restored vehicles or cars currently used for racing) • Used agricultural, forestry and horticultural machinery,
    • Used wire ropes attached to vehicles/machinery,
    • Used tyres
    • Vehicles/machinery showing evidence of holding pools of water or being partially or fully submerged in water (e.g., presence of water tide marks, biofouling)
    • New vehicles/machinery that have become contaminated after manufacture
    • Any other vehicle/unit of machinery that, by it’s very nature, use, source, history or other such factor, has been determined to require treatment (e.g., garbage trucks).
  3. Although many smaller vehicles such as motorcycles come in steel or wood crates – MAF requires any wooden crate to be constructed of approved ISPM15 timber. This is an international standard and a packing declaration must be filled out by the packer at origin and be presented on arrival. McCullough’s can arrange for any crating to comply with MAF regulations.
  4. Once the container has arrived MAF will inspect every part of the vehicle and the container and determine whether it needs further cleaning or vacuuming. They will be looking for any foreign animals, insects, plant material, food or general muck and grime. If they discover anything, they will require more cleaning, the destruction of what they discover and potential confiscation – all at your cost. So it’s extremely important to make sure anything you bring in is thoroughly clean before it leaves the foreign port.

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