184-2018 - Onshore capacity of Approved Arrangement sites and treatment providers for the 2018-19 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season

7 December 2018

Who does this notice affect?

Stakeholders in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, treatment providers, importers, customs brokers, and biosecurity industry participants operating approved arrangement (AA) sites with onsite fumigation facilities, specifically fumigation pads undertaking onshore treatment for Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

What has changed?

The department is aware of industry concerns relating to:

  • delays to onshore fumigation of imported goods, and
  • capacity for storage of containers at AA sites prior to treatment and/or inspection.

To help manage potential delays, the following advice is provided to Biosecurity Industry Participants operating Approved Arrangements. Treatment providers conducting methyl bromide and sulfuryl fluoride fumigations should check the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and consult their local state fumigation licensing authority to determine if stacking containers for fumigation is permitted.

If permitted by the MSDS and under local state fumigation licensing regulations, Biosecurity Industry Participants may vertically stack containers to increase the current capacity of fumigation pads.

Treatment providers and AA sites seeking to vertically stack containers must ensure that they continue to comply with the requirements of the Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology and the Sulfuryl Fluoride Fumigation Methodology. In particular, sections 3.3.5 and 3.3.6, which stipulate that shipping containers under gas must not be moved until they have been ventilated.

The fumigation of stacked containers may present additional risks. Treatment providers and AA sites remain responsible for the appropriate management of all risks associated with stacked treatments, including:

  • safety of personnel working at heights to prepare containers in accordance to requirements and undertaking subsequent leak checking, and
  • ventilation of the containers at the completion of the fumigation.

Onshore treatment options

The department has recently updated the BMSB onshore treatment providers list, on the Approved Arrangements webpage. This includes information on sulfuryl fluoride treatment and heat treatment at the full container level.

Expected delays

The department published Industry Advice Notice 116-2018 acknowledging that the seasonal measures to manage the risk of BMSB to include goods manufactured in, or shipped from an expanded list of target risk countries would likely to result in delays at the border. The department continues to encourage offshore treatment of target high risk goods where possible, to minimise delays and associated industry costs that may be incurred with onshore treatment.

Industry Advice Notice 146-2018 provided further information on how industry can help minimise potential assessment delays. This includes ensuring cargo reports and Full Import Declarations (FIDs) should be lodged accurately and as early as possible. Early lodgement greatly assists with identifying and assessing goods for biosecurity risk, including those treated and untreated for BMSB risk.

Contact information

For further information relating to stacking containers for treatment, please contact AA Canberra.

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.​

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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