PORT of Tauranga has announced new measures to prioritise urgent imported cargo during the New Zealand lockdown.

The measures are aimed at allowing importers to identify imported cargo required for essential services before it arrives in New Zealand.

The dwell charges deadline for priority cargo has been extended to provide relief to import customers while ensuring cargo is collected promptly.

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Non-essential imported cargo can be temporarily stored on or off-site until it can be collected by truck or transferred by rail to MetroPort Auckland.

“We take our role as an essential service very seriously and our focus is to ensure vital food, medical and other supplies can keep moving,” said Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns.

“We also understand the stresses and strains on people and organisations trying to deal with the current situation, which has seen shipping delays, cancellations and other disruptions,” he said.

“We need the support and co-operation of importers and exports to help us manage the flow of cargo and avoid blocking the path of essential food, medicine, equipment and other supplies.”

Tauranga has introduced extensive measures aimed at protecting the health of staff.

They include separation of work groups, enhanced cleaning regimens and protective equipment for frontline staff such as marine pilots. All international crew shore leave is prohibited and crew members must avoid close contact with port workers.

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