Pest risk analysis for brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys)

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is conducting a pest risk analysis for brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys).

We initiated this pest-specific risk analysis following the introduction of emergency measures on 30 January 2015​ in response to increased detections of brown marmorated stink bug and changes in the international status of this pest.

This risk analysis will be conducted in three key steps:

  1. Review current scientific knowledge relevant to the pest, assess risks and develop proposed risk management measures.
  2. Release draft report for public comment. Now open for a period of 60 days.
  3. Consider stakeholder comments in preparing the final report which is expected to be published in or early 2018. This marks the end of the scientific review process.

The draft report for the risk analysis for brown marmorated stink bugs is now available.

Make a submission

We invite you to submit written comments on any of the technical content in the draft report during a 60 day consultation period. Your feedback will be considered when we prepare the final report.

Submissions close on 27 October 2017.

You can read the draft report and make an online, email or postal submission.

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Draft report

This report outlines the risks to Australia of brown marmorated stink bug and proposes risk management measures to address the risks identified to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).

Scope

This draft pest risk analysis assesses the risk to Australia of brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) entering as a hitchhiker on goods from countries with established brown marmorated stink bug populations.

With particular focus on:

  • likelihood of entry, establishment and spread of brown marmorated stink bug as a hitchhiker on goods
  • consequences if it were to establish and spread in Australia.

Likelihood was assessed for two different time periods for goods originating from countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Proposed risk management measures

This draft report proposes that the importation of goods into Australia from all countries with established brown marmorated stink bug populations be permitted, subject to a range of biosecurity conditions.

Risk management measures, combined with our operational systems, will reduce the risks proposed by brown marmorated stink bug on goods and achieve ALOP for Australia.

Depending on the type and origin of the good, the risk management measures may include:

  • approved safeguarding arrangements
  • enhanced surveillance
  • heat treatment
  • methyl bromide fumigation
  • sulfuryl fluoride fumigation.

These proposed measures are consistent with the emergency measures currently in place​ to manage brown marmorated stink bug on imported goods.

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What is a pest risk analysis?

A pest risk analysis is the process of evaluating evidence to determine whether an organism is a pest, if it should be regulated, and the strength of any phytosanitary measures to be taken against it to manage biosecurity risk.

If the risks posed by the pest exceed Australia’s ALOP, the analysis will specify that the import will not proceed, unless appropriate measures have been identified that will reduce those risks to achieve the ALOP.

This pest risk analysis considers the risk of a pest associated with an import pathway, along with any sanitary and phytosanitary measures that could address this risk.

Considerations during a pest risk analysis

International obligations

All World Trade Organization (WTO) members are signatories to the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement), under which they have both rights and obligations.

The basic obligations of the SPS Agreement are that SPS measures must:

  • be based on a risk assessment appropriate to the circumstances or drawn from standards developed by the World Organisation for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention
  • only be applied to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health
  • be based on science
  • not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between WTO members, or be a disguised restriction on trade.

Under the SPS Agreement, each WTO Member is entitled to maintain a level of protection it considers appropriate to protect human, animal or plant life or health within its territory – in other words, its appropriate level of protection.

Appropriate level of protection

The appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia is defined in the Biosecurity Act 2015 as: a high level of sanitary and phytosanitary protection aimed at reducing biosecurity risks to very low, but not to zero.

This definition has been reached with the agreement of all state and territory governments and recognises that a zero risk stance is impractical because this would mean Australia would have no tourists, no international travel and no imports.

The ALOP is a broad objective, and risk management measures are established to achieve that objective.

Biosecurity risk

The term ‘biosecurity risk’ is used to describe the combination of the likelihood and the consequences of a pest or disease of biosecurity concern entering, establishing and spreading in Australia.
Australia's biosecurity system protects our unique environment and agricultural sector and supports our reputation as a safe and reliable trading nation. This has significant economic, environmental and community benefits for all Australians.

Identifying risk

A risk analysis is an examination of the potential biosecurity risks associated with an import of animals, plants or other goods into Australia. It plays an important role in protecting Australia’s biosecurity.

If the assessed level of biosecurity risk exceeds the ALOP for Australia, the department will consider whether there are any risk management measures that would reduce the biosecurity risk to achieve the ALOP. If there are no risk management measures that reduce the risk to that level, trade will not be allowed.

Protecting Australia from exotic pests

A comprehensive risk assessment of pests and diseases has been undertaken and risk management options have been recommended to address any risks of exotic pests and diseases. Any recommended measures will reflect Australia’s overall approach to the management of biosecurity risk.

Zero risk is impossible; it would mean no tourists, no international travel and no imports of any commodities. Australia invests heavily in biosecurity to ensure risks are managed to the lowest possible level.

Australia exports almost two thirds of its agricultural produce. The future of our agriculture and food industries, including their capacity to contribute to growth and jobs, depends on Australia’s capacity to maintain a good plant and animal health status.

Australia accepts imports only when we are confident the risks of pests and diseases can be managed to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

New scientific information

Scientific information can be provided to the department at any time, including after a risk analysis has been completed. We will consider the information provided and will review the analysis.

Contact Information

For more information, stakeholders can email Plant or phone +61 2 6272 5094.

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