Parliament has given a third reading to the Maritime Powers Extension Bill, which will come into force on 1 October 2018.
The bill amends the Customs and Excise Act 2018 and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. It incorporates two international treaty provisions into domestic law.
The two treaties, to which New Zealand is a signatory, are Article 108 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
The new legislation also expands the powers of the New Zealand Customs Service to stop, board and search ships suspected of drug smuggling in international waters. It establishes offences that apply when an individual is on a ship outside New Zealand waters but intends to smuggle, or is involved in the smuggling of, controlled drugs or prohibited equipment or material in or out of New Zealand.