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02-2015 - Emergency measures for specific sea freight consignments of containerised and break bulk cargo sourced and shipped from the east coast ports of United States

​​22 January 2015

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to clients in the import and shipping industry, including importers, forwarders and customs brokers associated with the importation of vehicles, tyres, machinery, and automotive parts sourced and shipped from the east coast ports of United States.

What has changed?

Please see the department industry notice 125/2014.

This industry notice advised of the large number of interceptions of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha halys) being found on and in break bulk cargo imported from the US port of Savannah.

This stink bug is an exotic pest of considerable biosecurity concern to Australia’s agriculture industry. Juveniles feed on, and severely damage, fruit and vegetable crops, and adults can enter vehicles, homes and factories in autumn months in large numbers looking for warm places to hide and overwinter.

The volumes of this pest now being intercepted in break bulk imports arriving in Australia and New Zealand are causing major treatment difficulties and logistic issues in the management of this risk on shore in both countries.

Consequently, offshore treatment of goods on high-risk pathways is the only feasible measure available to the department to effectively manage significant and ongoing biosecurity risk from this pest.

As a result, the department is introducing emergency measures for all containerised and break bulk vehicles (including boats), machinery, automotive parts, and containerised tyres sourced and shipped from the east coast ports of United States.

As part of these emergency measures, the following requirements apply to consignments arriving in Australia as of Monday, 23 February 2015:

  • Treated prior to shipping
  • Accompanied by a certification of efficacy of treatment containing full treatment details conforming to the Minimum Document Requirements Policy.
  • On-arrival inspection of high-risk consignments as determined by the department.

These mandatory requirements apply for the following consignments:

  • All break bulk vehicles (including boats), machinery, and automotive parts within 48 hours prior to loading and;
  • Containerised shipments of vehicles (including boats), machinery, automotive parts, and tyres within 24 hours prior to being containerised for shipping.

Acceptable pre-shipment treatments include:

  • Heat (60°C/140°F) for 30 minutes in the coldest location of the cargo
  •  Methyl bromide (32g/m3@21°C and above for 24 hours)
  • Sulfuryl fluoride (32g/m3@21°C and above for 24 hours or 40g/m3@16-21°C for 24 hours); or
  • Other alternative treatment as approved by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture. 

Interim measures

For the following consignments that are currently in transit (without a valid treatment certificate) on-arrival measures will apply from the date of this notice.

  • All break bulk vehicles (including boats), machinery, and automotive parts sourced and shipped from the ports of Savannah and Baltimore.

As part of the on-arrival measures, consignments without pre-treatments will require assessment in situ on the vessel by biosecurity inspectors and will not be permitted discharge until the inspectors are confident that any residual risks posed by these stinkbugs are managed. If any stinkbugs are found in or on the goods, including goods in close proximity to infested goods that may have been cross contaminated, these goods will require an acceptable treatment on wharf within 48 hours. If the risk cannot be effectively managed on wharf, then the goods will not be permitted to land at this or any subsequent wharf in Australia.

Goods that are permitted to be discharged can only be landed on the wharf and must not be moved from that wharf until the biosecurity officer has released the goods from quarantine following inspection and any treatments required.

Any domestic cargo that is carried onboard these international vessels will be subjected to mandatory inspection/treatment requirement as determined by the department.

Further information about on-arrival measures for the above consignments without off-shore treatment certificates can be found in the department’s ICON database.

Pending the inspection outcomes, the department anticipates that these emergency measures are going to be in place until the end of April 2015.

While the department is taking every precaution to manage the risk posed by this and other pests, it relies on industry and the public to assist us by reporting any insect or other pest that may be of biosecurity concern.

If you see something that could be a Brown Mar​​morated Stink Bug, please report it to the See, Secure, Report Hotline on 1800 798 636.

Further Information

If you have any concerns or questions please contact your regional office for further information.

Other for​mat

Last reviewed:
24 Aug 2015