Transhipments

Transhipping class 1 substances

From 1 December 2017, activities relating to the transhipping of explosive substances in New Zealand may require a permit from WorkSafe.

The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 define transhipment as the importation of a class 1 substance into New Zealand solely for the purpose of export within 20 working days.

This can involve the goods remaining on a ship or aircraft (sometimes known as transiting), or being removed for short term storage before export.

What is required?

Depending on the activity, a WorkSafe permit and/or an approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) may be required. This is outlined below.

A WorkSafe permit recognises that it may not be practicable to meet all the requirements of the Hazardous Substances Regulations. If a permit is required, it must be obtained by a person in control of the business or undertaking (PCBU) to which it applies, before the transhipment.

NZ-flagged ships or NZ-crewed aircraft

A WorkSafe permit is required to transport or store on a New Zealand-flagged ship or NZ-crewed aircraft a class 1 substance that is being transhipped through New Zealand. If the substance is unapproved, an EPA approval is also required for it to be transhipped through New Zealand.

If the substance is to be unloaded temporarily, the PCBU in control of the land-based activities (unloading, loading, handling, storage and transportation by land) must obtain a separate WorkSafe permit for that purpose; or:

  • operate under a WorkSafe permit obtained by another PCBU for that purpose, or
  • comply with the relevant requirements of the regulations.

Foreign-flagged ships or foreign-crewed aircraft

The regulations do not apply to foreign-flagged ships or foreign-crewed aircraft. A transhipment of hazardous substances through New Zealand on a foreign ship or aircraft will require an EPA approval.

If the EPA requires the substance to be unloaded temporarily at the New Zealand port or airport, it will advise the applicant to contact WorkSafe.

The regulations will apply to these activities, and therefore the PCBU with management or control of the unloading, loading, handling, storage or transportation by land must either obtain a permit from WorkSafe before the transhipment; or:  

  • operate under a WorkSafe permit obtained by another PCBU for this purpose, or
  • comply with the relevant requirements of the regulations

Are there conditions?

WorkSafe may impose conditions when approving a permit, as the EPA may impose conditions on an EPA approval.

How do I apply?

To apply to WorkSafe for a Permit Relating to Transhipment of a Class 1 Substance through New Zealand, email transhipments@worksafe.govt.nz at least one month before the substance is to be transhipped. There is currently no fee for a WorkSafe permit.

For information on transhipment approvals from the EPA, including an application form, see the EPA website(external link). Applications must be sent to the EPA at least one month before the substance is to be transhipped. The fee is $287.50 (incl GST).