Ships exempted from some quarantine requirements

The Director-General of Health has exempted some types of ships from certain ‘business-as-usual’ quarantine requirements, such as having to notify the public health unit of health status prior to arrival or present a Maritime Declaration of Health.

However, in the current global COVID-19 pandemic response, specific border and maritime COVID-19 controls will still apply, despite any such exemptions.

Additionally, if a disease is known or is suspected to be on board any exempted ship, then all health and quarantine provisions apply, and the ship must advise health authorities of their health status prior to arrival.

The following ships have been granted an exemption:

  • All yachts, as defined in the Shipping and Seamen’s Act 1952
  • All ships belonging to the:
    • Royal New Zealand Navy
    • Royal Navy
    • Royal Australian Navy
    • United States Navy 
    • Royal Canadian Navy
  • Foreign ships granted pratique at a previous New Zealand port, and then not visiting another overseas port ‘at sea’ in the intervening period (ie, they remained at sea before returning to a New Zealand port) are only exempt if there have been no crew changes at sea or contact with other ships or crew members.

Exempted navy ships do their own inspections and will inform the appropriate health authorities if any illness of sickness is detected.

All yachts arriving in New Zealand are inspected by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and MPI, to identify the presence of exotic mosquitoes (at any life stage) or of their actual or potential breeding sites. Should MPI become aware of illness on any vessel they must contact the relevant Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer.

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