Reassessment of methyl bromide

Submissions are open on a reassessment of the fumigant methyl bromide.

Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Inc (STIMBR) applied for a reassessment of the approval for methyl bromide.

Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant in the quarantine and pre-shipment treatment of logs, produce, flowers and other goods. It is also used for the treatment of potato wart.

We are processing this application as a modified reassessment. This means that the reassessment will only consider specific aspects of the approval, such as the required controls. The approval to import or manufacture methyl bromide cannot be revoked in this type of reassessment.

STIMBR has asked us to consider:

  • proposed new controls regarding the definition of recapture
  • the time that such recapture would have to be used when fumigating ship holds with methyl bromide
  • the buffer zones associated with all methyl bromide fumigations.

We can consider the first two of these requests. Buffer zones and many other workplace controls are now set in Part 14 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations, rather than in the HSNO approval for methyl bromide.

We have asked for further information from STIMBR and from a number of third parties. Responses from third parties are available for information but do not form part of the application from STIMBR.

Submission period

The submission period opens on 18 July 2019 and will close on 29 August 2019 at 5pm.

Make a submission

Read the application documents and submission guidelines 

You can complete your submission:

  • using our submission form
  • by email us at reassessments@epa.govt.nz (include 'methyl bromide reassessment' in the subject line)
  • in writing to Reassessments, Environmental Protection Authority, Private Bag 63002, Wellington, 6140, New Zealand.

Questions about the reassessment

You can contact:

  • STIMBR's representative, Ian Gear, if you have questions about the technical information in the application or the information provided to the EPA.

Email Ian at ian@ingearglobal.com

  • the EPA with any questions about the application or the submission process. Include 'methyl bromide reassessment' in the subject line.

Email us at: reassessments@epa.govt.nz

Grounds for reassessment

In April 2018, we decided that grounds existed for a reassessment of methyl bromide, following an application by STIMBR.

Grounds to reassess were granted based on data that evidenced New Zealand’s use of the fumigant has increased from over 400 tonnes a year in 2010, to more than 600 tonnes in 2016. One of the criteria required to be met to meet grounds for reassessment under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, is a significant change in the quantity of a substance imported into or manufactured in New Zealand.

Reassessment timeline

We have produced a timeline showing the progress of this methyl bromide reassessment application to date.

Look at the methyl bromide reassessment timeline