Preparing for the New Stink Bug Season

The Department of Agriculture has issued an update for Australian importers concerning the upcoming Stink Bug season, which will commence once again on 1st September.

The Australian Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries have reviewed the treatment options and rates for the 2019-20 BMSB risk season. It is important to note that some treatment rates have changed.

Our DoA has issued notice 128-2019 - Treatment requirements for the 2019-20 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season. It is addressed to stakeholders in the import and shipping industries—including master consolidators, freight forwarders, importers, customs brokers, offshore and onshore treatment providers and Biosecurity Industry Participants—associated with importing goods that are subject to increased biosecurity intervention during the 2019-20 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season.

Season Duration: Goods shipped between 1 September 2019 and 30 April 2020 (inclusive), arriving by 31 May 2020 (inclusive). As per the Shipped on Board date on the Bill of Lading. Shipments shipped before 30 April and arriving after 31 May 2020 will be monitored only.

What has changed?
Both Australia and New Zealand have introduced a joint Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme (the scheme), aligning the minimum registration and compliance requirements, for treatment providers conducting BMSB treatments offshore for the 2019-20 risk season. The joint scheme of approved treatment providers will replace the respective schemes used during the 2018-19 risk season, and 2019-20 approved providers will be published on both departmental websites.

The three treatment options for the risk season will remain: heat treatment, methyl bromide fumigation and sulfuryl fluoride fumigation.

Offshore Treatment Providers Scheme
To be able to conduct offshore BMSB treatments during the 2019-20 BMSB risk season, all treatment providers in target risk countries must first register and be approved under the scheme. Treatments conducted by an unapproved treatment provider in a target risk country will not be recognised as valid and the goods will be subject to onshore treatment (if permitted), or be directed for export.

Onshore treatment and Approved Arrangements
The DoA is continuing to progress the expansion of treatment options onshore and the development of Approved Arrangements classes to support the 2019-20 BMSB risk season. This includes:
- a new class 12.3 approved arrangement to support application of heat treatment (mobile or at container level), and
- refinement to the existing class 4.1 approved arrangement conditions to support heat treatment activities performed and regulated under the class 12.3 approved arrangement.