67-2016 - Black Rice Bugs: Targeted surveillance on vessels from Philippine ports

8 July 2016

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is relevant to shipping agents, international vessel masters and international vessel operators involved in voyages between the Philippines and Australia.

What has changed?

From July 2016, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department) will commence a limited targeted surveillance activity to assess the pest risk associated with Black Rice Bugs on vessels arriving from Philippine ports as their last overseas port. Vessels masters should continue to remain vigilant for exotic insects and report detections to the department.

This activity will have no impact on the Pratique Documentary Clearance (PDC) status of the vessel at this time.

If the vessel is on PDC status, the activity will be treated as targeted vessel surveillance, which is non-chargeable under the department’s cost recovery arrangements.

If a high risk pest is confirmed and identified during the surveillance activity, the vessel will be subject to a targeted inspection which is charged as per the department’s charging guidelines 2015–16 which can be found on www.agriculture.gov.au. However, if the activity is undertaken as part of a Routine Vessel Inspection (RVI), the targeted inspection will be charged as per the department’s charging guidelines.


Recent information was received by the department about the likely exposure of vessels calling at Philippine ports affected by the flight of the Black Rice Bug. Following this information, recent detection of an infestation of Black Rice Bugs was reported on a vessel at a North Queensland port - last port Davao, Philippines.

The infestation was confirmed to be the exotic Scotinophara coarctata (Pentatomidae), commonly known as Black Rice Bugs (RBB).

Further information

If you require further information please contact the Maritime National Coordination Centre or phone +61 8 8201 6185 (outside Australia) or 1300 004 605 (in Australia).

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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