Biosecurity MPI Inspections – What to Expect and How to Prepare

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Posted on 29th March 2023

To keep our beautiful country clean, green, and pest-free, biosecurity officers complete MPI inspections on every vehicle imported into New Zealand. Transported cars from overseas are an exceptionally efficient medium for carrying unwanted visitors into the country, such as pests and diseases. These inspections are a vital aspect of our overall biosecurity. Discover what a biosecurity MPI inspection entails and how to ensure your vehicle passes the inspection.


What to expect from an MPI inspection

A biosecurity MPI inspection is a thorough check of your car’s interior and exterior to pick up on and prevent the entry of harmful pests and diseases that have hitched a ride into the country through your vehicle. The inspection takes place at a transitional facility at your place of arrival, either at a port or airport. You can expect officers to inspect the interior, undercarriage, engine, wheels, and tyres, looking for any signs of dirt, plant material, and animal matter. If officers find any biosecurity risk items, your vehicle may be subject to further treatment, cleaning, or quarantine. You may also face fines and penalties for non-compliance with biosecurity regulations.


What happens when the MPI finds contaminants?

If no biosecurity risks are found after the MPI inspection, you’ll get clearance to import your vehicle into New Zealand. But what happens if they do find something?


If officers believe your car may pose a risk to our biosecurity, it can be partially or even fully dismantled to conduct a more in-depth search of the vehicle. If containments are found on your vehicle, they can be cleaned by MPI or taken to an approved facility. If they cannot contain or remove the issue, you may face reshipment or destruction of the vehicle. The best way to ensure you pass your MPI inspection is to clean it thoroughly before the journey.


How to clean your vehicle

Your vehicle may require more than a quick clean to pass its MPI inspection. The MPI have a set of guidelines on cleaning used vehicles for inspection. Here’s our summary of these tips:  


  • Ensure the exterior of your vehicle is free of any dirt, plant material, or animal excrement by thoroughly washing it with a water blaster.
  • Get into every nook and cranny of the car to ensure no insects are hanging around. Once you’ve removed any bugs, a generous spray of bug repellent over the vehicle will keep them away.
  • Insects love to lay egg masses in/on vehicles; use your hand to brush these away.
  • Seeds are another common problem for MPI inspections. Use Sellotape to pick them off your car or vacuum any loose seeds.


Following these guidelines, your car should fly through its MPI inspection so you can park it in your driveway in no time. 


Is Your vehicle ready for its MPI inspection?

Here at Cars2NZ, we have been hauling vehicles worldwide for years and know what it takes to pass an MPI inspection with flying colours! If you’re importing a car to New Zealand, get in touch today for a free vehicle transport quote.

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