16 November 2021
Who does this notice affect?
This notice is of interest to all vessel masters and shipping agents who represent international commercial and non-commercial vessels for the purposes of Australian biosecurity clearance.
What has changed?
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) will commence its annual heightened surveillance regime for managing the risks posed by Burnt Pine Longicorn (BPL) beetles on vessels departing from New Zealand from midnight, 24:00 hours (NZST) on 15th November 2021.
After the submission of pre-arrival reporting by vessel masters or shipping agents, the Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS) will email a BPL Questionnaire to targeted vessels.
The department’s National Maritime Centre (NMC) officers will then advise, through the Biosecurity Status Document (BSD) issued from MARS, if a BPL inspection or any specific biosecurity risk mitigation measures are required.
The department requests vessel masters and crew to remain vigilant for BPL and advise the department, as soon as possible, of any suspected detections of BPL. Early detection and accurate reporting of pests prior to arrival assists in managing the risk offshore where possible and minimises the level of intervention by the department for vessel arrival.
Please note the following exemptions:
- Consignments already loaded onto vessels before the commencement of the flight season are exempt from Arhopalus treatment requirements.
- Consignments already loaded and sealed into containers before the commencement of the flight season are exempt from Arhopalus treatment requirements.
What to look for
The BPL beetle is likely to enter Australia on vessels and cargo including imported timber and machinery from New Zealand.
Look for adult beetles seeking shelter in dark secluded areas during daylight and in imported cargo or vessels. Adults are active from dusk to dawn and are attracted to light.
The department has developed a BPL webpage to assist vessel masters and crew to detect BPL.
See. Secure. Report.
If you see this BPL pest or any other pest that you think may have hitchhiked to Australia, contain it, where possible and immediately report it to the department:
- Phone 1800 798 636
- complete an online reporting form
- report via your shipping agent.
For your safety, ask to consult a department entomologist before handling specimens. Report a pest or disease concern.
For further information or assistance about the 2021-22 BPL season:
Arriving vessels – contact the department’s NMC by email to the NMC or phone 1300 004 605 (in Australia) or +61 8 8201 6185 (outside Australia).
Information on pre-arrival reporting for maritime vessels can be found on the department’s website under Vessels.
Commodities that are imported under the following BICON cases, BPL affected timber from New Zealand, include:
- Unfinished timber
- Logs, log cabins and oversized timber
- Plywood, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and veneer sheets.
Commodity import requirements for affected commodities - refer to BICON or contact Plant Import Operations, or telephone 1800 900 090.
The department will issue a notification for the conclusion of the BPL flight season in 2021.
Vessel reporting requirements and the Biosecurity Act 2015
Vessel masters and shipping agents are reminded:
- To read and understand the Biosecurity Status Document (BSD) directions and conditions and keep a copy of the current document on board the vessel for the duration of the voyage in Australia.
- Any changes in circumstances during the voyage in Australian waters, particularly changes to the human health of travellers or reporting pests and diseases, must be submitted via MARS or reported to the NMC as soon as practicable.
- That a failure to report accurately or comply with a requirement under the Biosecurity Act may result in penalties, including infringement notices, civil penalties or criminal prosecutions.