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195-2018 - Loading and shipment of break bulk cargo treated by suspended treatment providers during the 2018-19 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season

​​24 December 2018

Who does this notice affect?

Clients in the import and shipping industries—including vessel masters, freight forwarders, treatment providers, Biosecurity Industry Participants, importers, customs brokers and principle agents—associated with loading breakbulk goods that require increased intervention during the BMSB risk season (shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive).

What has changed?

The department recently provided advice to industry through Industry Advice Notices 165-2018, 186-2018 and 191-2018 of the suspension of Italian treatment providers. Following these suspensions the department has reassessed the level of biosecurity risks associated with allowing break bulk treated by suspended treatment providers to be treated onshore.

Due to the high level of biosecurity risk to manage break bulk treated by suspended treatment providers onshore, the department has revised its onshore treatment policy for this cargo.

The department is providing the following advice to industry for immediate implementation regarding all target high risk goods that are shipped as break bulk (this includes goods shipped in open top or on flat rack containers), that have been treated by a suspended offshore treatment provider.

  1. Break bulk goods that were shipped on or prior to the relevant treatment provider being suspended (goods in-transit to Australia at the time of suspension) will be permitted to discharge/unload on arrival, provided assurance can be given to the department that any potential BMSB risk will be contained on arrival and mitigated. These goods may be subject to further inspection after onshore treatment.

  2. To provide assurance to the department a risk management plan must be submitted to the department via email to Air and Sea Cargo, prior to the goods arriving into Australia and before discharge. The plan must include:

    • Confirmation that the goods can be treated within 48 hours by a department approved onshore treatment provider either at the wharf or, at an approved arrangement site within the port precinct, and
    • Details on how the goods will be contained to manage the potential BMSB risk. For example, sufficient tarping to contain the risk including contingency for adverse weather. This may include envelope tarping or sealing.

  3. Break bulk goods that were shipped after the relevant treatment provider was suspended will no longer be permitted to discharge/unload within Australian territory or if it has been unloaded from the vessel, will be directed for immediate containment and export. These goods will be assessed the same as other non-compliant break bulk goods.

    Note: The department will allow these goods a window of up to 120 hours after the suspension date, for these goods to be loaded and shipped on board to Australia.

  4. Break bulk goods that have been discharged prior to, or on the date the relevant treatment provider was suspended will be permitted for onshore treatment. These goods will be directed for appropriate containment of potential BMSB risk and treatment within 48 hours of arrival. If the goods cannot be treated within 48 hours, they may be directed for export, based on timeliness of treatment or export options. Break bulk goods treated onshore may be subject to further inspection.

Goods that have been shipped in sealed six hard sided containers and treated by a suspended offshore treatment provider will continue to be permitted to discharge/unload on arrival as per the current processes. These goods will be directed for onshore treatment by a department approved treatment provider. Deconsolidation or segregation of goods will not be permitted prior to treatment and may be subject to further inspection.

The department will continue to review all risk pathways and any BMSB detections and where relevant make adjustments the current seasonal measures as required.

Vessel Operators

Vessel Operators are strongly encouraged to verify compliance with current BMSB requirements before loading goods onto vessels. Vessel Operators should not load untreated breakbulk goods or break bulk goods treated by suspended treatment providers for discharge in Australia after the suspension dates. If BMSB are detected, operators and staff must follow containment procedures to secure goods to limit any movement of insects and notify the department immediately. Vessel Operators should be aware they may also be asked to produce manifests to manage any potential biosecurity risks.

Meeting import conditions and managing contamination

Importers are responsible for ensuring that seasonal BMSB import conditions are complied with before importing goods and should ensure their stakeholders are aware of the risk of BMSB infestation and the importance of preventing infestation prior to shipping.

Shipping lines are also strongly encouraged to only load treated break bulk goods from target risk countries. If there are a mix of treated and untreated goods from non-target risk and target risk countries, it is recommended these goods be segregated to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Shipping lines should manage contamination risks to ensure goods are not contaminated with BMSB and/or other biosecurity risks.

Expected delays

As noted in the 116-2018 - Expected delays under 2018-19 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) seasonal measuresthe department continues to encourage industry to have their target high risk goods treated offshore, by an approved treatment provider where possible. Cargo reports and Full Import Declarations (FIDs) should be lodged accurately and as early as possible to assist with identifying and assessing these containers.

Further information

For further information relating to the assessment and processing of LCL/FAK containers and consignments, please contact BMSB Processing.

For further information relating to all other import document assessment or clearance/release times for goods please contact Imports

For further information regarding the policy for BMSB measures, visit the Seasonal Measures for BMSB webpage or contact Air and Sea Cargo.

If you see something that could have entered Australia with imported goods report it to See. Secure. Report. on 1800 798 636 or complete theonline form.