New Zealand has turned away four car-carrying ships, containing up to 12,000 vehicles, because they were found to be infested by brown marmorated stink bugs.
A statement from the New Zealand Customs Service, said one vessel, Glovis Caravel had changed route prior to arrival in New Zealand.
The others, Tokyo Car, voyage 1802; Courageous Ace, voyage 121A; and Sepang Express, voyage 44; had been ordered to leave.
According to Radio New Zealand, the standard chemical used to control the pest would damage the upholstery of the cars making them unsellable, while another insecticide that kills the bugs in banned in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries is fighting to stop the bugs, which emit a pungent odour which squashed, from gaining a foothold in the country.
It said “The brown marmorated stink bug has spread to the United States and Europe from Asia. It’s not established in New Zealand but it’s a sneaky pest that we’ve caught at the border many times, hitchhiking on passengers and in imported goods.
“MPI has developed new import regulations to provide extra protection against this bug. Vehicles and machinery from the USA and Italy must now be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide before coming to New Zealand New import standards are being developed for all vehicles, machinery and tyres from all countries.