Stink Bugs Prevent Delivery of Japanese Cars to New Zealand

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Well this stinks, in more ways than one.  Apparently, three cargo ships filled with cars and machinery from Japan were barred entry into New Zealand ports when it was discovered the cargo ships were infested with…stink bugs.

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That’s right, stink bugs have felled Japanese imports of cars to New Zealand, well, in part.

Stink bugs on ships disrupt Japan’s car exports

Three cargo ships carrying imported cars and machinery were refused entry at New Zealand ports this month after they were found to have hordes of the bugs aboard, according to New Zealand authorities.

Stink bugs are a major threat in New Zealand, a remote island nation that goes to great lengths to protect its natural ecosystem from foreign pests.

The critters could wreak havoc across the country’s farms. They tend to reproduce quickly, eat a broad variety of crops and resist most pesticides.

Protecting agriculture and the environment is coming at a cost to the auto industry. The three ships from Japan that were refused entry were carrying more than 10,000 new and used cars, according to David Vinsen, CEO of New Zealand’s Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association.

“In my 15 years in this role, and probably 30 years involved in this industry, I have not seen anything which is as serious as this,” said Vinsen, who flew home early from a family vacation to deal with the crisis.

The delays aren’t just affecting the cars stuck out at sea. As many as 8,000 more vehicles are still awaiting shipment in Japan, Vinsen added.

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