194-2018 - Management of non-compliant and untreated break bulk goods 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 freight forwarders, importers, customs brokers, vessel operators, shipping lines, stevedores, wharf operators and master consolidators—associated with importing 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 would like to remind industry of the risk posed by BMSB and that all target high risk break bulk goods from target risk countries, must be treated offshore unless exceptional circumstances have been granted.

Loading only compliant goods and managing cross contamination

Importers are responsible for ensuring that seasonal BMSB import conditions are complied with before importing goods. If untreated break bulk goods (non-compliant break bulk) arrive into Australian territory, they will not be permitted to discharge/unload, or if unloaded, will be directed for immediate containment for potential BMSB risk at the wharf and export within 48 hours. This includes any untreated break bulk that is discharged and transhipped via Australia.

The department is currently reviewing processes to manage the risk of non-compliant break bulk goods, including requirements for vessel operators to include pre-arrival reporting of non-compliant break bulk that is in scope of the BMSB seasonal measures. This may include implementing cargo report profiles to hold and prevent the movement of break bulk goods at the wharf to better manage non-compliant break bulk cargo.

In the interim, vessel operators are strongly encouraged to only load treated break bulk goods from target risk countries.

In situations where there are mixed treated and untreated goods (goods that are not subject to BMSB measures), vessel operators are encouraged to consider treatment of all goods prior to loading to better manage the risk of BMSB and prevent cross contamination.

If treatment cannot be completed on all goods, it is recommended these goods be segregated to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

Vessel operators should manage contamination risks to ensure goods are not contaminated with BMSB and/or other biosecurity risks.

The department notes that thermal fogging with a pyrethoid chemical insecticide is not an approved treatment. Pyfog is an irritant that can assist in the detection of BMSB during an inspection however it does not have the lethal dose required to provide the department with the confidence that all BMSB will be killed.

There are three treatment options that department consider sufficient to treat the risk of BMSB (heat treatment, sulfuryl fluoride fumigation and methyl bromide fumigation).

When loading and unloading break bulk goods, care should be taken as BMSB may be overwintering inside the goods. If BMSB are detected, operators and staff must follow normal procedures to secure goods to limit any movement of insects and notify the department immediately.

Vessel operators, stevedores and wharf operators

The management of non-compliant break bulk goods will require action by vessel operators, stevedores and wharf operators. Where non-compliant break bulk goods have been identified, vessel operators will be directed to not permit the discharge/unloading of non-compliant goods. If non-compliant goods are discharged, the goods will be directed for immediate containment for potential BMSB risk at the wharf and export within 48 hours.

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 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 the online form.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Please verify that you are not a robot.