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Stink Bugs force new fumigation regulations from USA to AU/NZ

Posted on 11 February 2015

Following significant interceptions of Stink Bugs arriving from the US, the Department of Agriculture are taking emergency measures to ensure the invasion of these pests is terminated. Under the new rules, all importation of break bulk and containerized vehicles, machinery, automotive parts and tyres shipped from the United States must be heat treated or fumigated before being shipped to Australia and New Zealand.

Since the 22/01/2015 Mainfreight has been directly engaged with the Department of Agriculture on the serious stink bug issue trying to determine how this will affect our customers. Overnight quarantine has finally released some factual clear information concerning the subsequent Tariff headings/classifications directly affected.

Why are these bugs causing emergency measure?

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is an exotic pest of biosecurity concern to Australia’s and New Zealand’s agriculture industry as they feed on and severely damage fruit and crops.

If you are exporting from US your cargo must be:

  • Treated prior to shipping
  • Accompanied by a certification of efficacy outlining the treatment completed
  • Your cargo will be subject to on-arrival inspection as determined by the department

When does this come into effect?

  • As of Monday, 23 February 2015, high risk cargo arriving in Australia/New Zealand from United States East Coast ports will require offshore treatment.
  • This requirement will be extended to all US ports for cargo arriving in Australia/New Zealand from March 9, 2015, onwards.

The department is monitoring the interception data and will reassess if there is a need to expand these emergency measures.

Should you have any queries or require additional insight, please call your licensed customs broker or Mainfreight account representative.

UPDATE 17/03/2015

Emergency measures will continue to apply to targeted cargo from ALL PORTS of USA arriving in Australia up to and including 30th April 2015.

Break bulk cargo will be subject to Thermal fogging (e.g. Py Fog) at first port of call in Australia then followed by pre-discharge inspection of cargo and decks to assess what further treatments are required if any.

Department of Agriculture is also asking for all shipments targeted by these measures are submitted 48 hours prior to vessels arrival.

Further Information:

Can be obtained on the following Department of Agriculture web page link or on Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Hotline on 1800 195 543.

Should you have any queries or require additional insight, please call your licensed customs broker or Mainfreight account representative.

UPDATE 26/2/2015

The emergency measures will now only apply to targeted break bulk and new, unused FCL containerised goods within the revised tariffs outlined below.

Goods now not covered:

The department considers that the risk posed by new oversize tyres ( Tariff headings 4011 & 4012 ) and used containerised goods in these tariffs is being managed through other existing intervention methods and therefore further regulatory action is not required necessary at this time. A small percentage of these goods will still be subject to verification inspections on arrival.

Given the data on the type of cargo where this stink bug is being intercepted (cabins and other structures with nooks and crannies for the bugs to hide in); the department is also satisfied that the risk is being adequately managed in LCL consignments. LCL importers are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that their goods are free from all biosecurity risk material. The department will also be conducting random verification inspections of all container consignments after arrival.

Only the below Tariff Headings covered:

A revised list of tariff headings for targeted consignments that will require pre-shipment treatment if landed in Australia on or before 30th April 2015. Only tariff Heading 8426 to 8433, Chapter 86 (all headings) , 8701 to 8710 and 8716 , Chapter 89 (all headings) are now covered

Tariff headings that do not need pre-treatment

Chapters 4011 and 4012, 8406 to 8409, 8425, 8427, 8434 to 8437 and 8474

What are the current treatment requirements pre-shipment?

Current measures require the treatment of all break bulk vehicles (including boats), machinery, and automotive parts within 96 hours prior to loading, and containerised shipments of vehicles (including boats), machinery, automotive parts within 90 days prior to shipment providing containers are immediately sealed and arrive in Australia with "seals intact"

Acceptable pre-shipment treatments include:

  • Heat (60 Celsius/140 Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes in the coldest location of the cargo
  • Methyl bromide (32g/m3 at 21-25 Celsius for 24 hours, 40g/m3 at 16-20 Celsius for 24 hours or 48g/m3 at 11-15 Celsius for 24 hours)
  • Sulfuryl fluoride (32g/m3 at 21-25 Celsius for 24 hours, 40g/m3 at 16-20 Celsius for 24 hours)
  • Other pre-shipment treatments or management arrangements approved by the department

The department is monitoring the interception data and will reassess if there is a need to expand these emergency measures.