Hyundai's New Zealand importer has slammed a plan, set to be introduced next year, to compulsorily microdot vehicles imported into the country.

The initiative, rubber stamped by the government last May, involves tiny microdots being applied to vehicles, giving each of them a unique, traceable identity, the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) said.

The measure reportedly was supported by police, who said it would make it easier to identify stolen parts and harder for thieves to change a vehicle's identity, but Hyundai New Zealand's executive director Philip Eustace told the news agency the initiative was another cumbersome, costly and unnecessary regulation.

He told NZPA about 18,000 vehicles (of nine seats or less) affected by the legislation come into New Zealand each month [New Zealand imports vast numbers of used vehicles as well as new] and the logistics of applying microdots to each would cause headaches for the industry.

"Every single vehicle will have to be transported from the wharf to the premises of the marking applicator and back again," Eustace told the news agency.

"The microdot material must be applied dry, so every car will have to be treated in a covered compound.

"Here is an entire new step in the system at a time when the industry is trying to bring down the cost of vehicles for new owners.

"We also need to consider how long until the thieves get around this, for example spraying fake microdots onto cars, applying a solvent or painting over the dots."

NZPA said the government has put costs of the procedure at about $NZ88 per vehicle $69) but Eustace estimated the true cost at over $200 per vehicle when extra handling, transport and storage was taken into account.

The costs would be passed on to the consumer and the vehicle industry would be negatively affected by delays, he said, according to the report.

The New Zealand Press Association said the country's police minister Annette King said in May the initiative would speed up investigations into thefts and disrupt organised crime networks that involved stripping cars and selling parts. It would make it easier to solve crimes, such as identifying vehicles involved in hit-and-run incidents when part of the vehicle was left behind.