153-2020 - Notification of planned urgent actions for khapra beetle: Phase 2

17 September 2020 

Who does this notice affect?

Travellers, and Australian importers and overseas exporters of high-risk plant products sent via international mail (including items posted using Express Mail Service).

What will change?

Following IAN 127-2020 issued on 13 August 2020, the purpose of this notification is to advise stakeholders that the department will commence Phase 2 of the urgent actions in mid-October 2020 to address the risk of khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) on high-risk plant products that are hosts of this pest.

From mid-October 2020*, the following list of high-risk plant products (in various raw and processed forms for any end use) will not be permitted entry from any country into Australia within mail articles (including items posted using Express Mail Service) or baggage carried by international travellers (accompanied baggage):

  • Rice (Oryza sativa)
  • Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum)
  • Cucurbit seed (Cucurbita spp.; Cucumis spp.; Citrullus spp.)
  • Cumin seed (Cuminum cyminum)
  • Safflower seed (Carthamus tinctorius)
  • Bean seed (Phaseolus spp.)
  • Soybean (Glycine max)
  • Mung beans, cowpeas (Vigna spp.)
  • Lentils (Lens culinaris)
  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
  • Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Celery seed (Apium graveolens)
  • Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea)
  • Dried chillies/capsicum (Capsicum spp.)
  • Faba bean (Vicia faba)
  • Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan)
  • Pea seed (Pisum sativum)
  • Fennel seed (Foeniculum spp.)

The following exclusions apply: goods that are thermally processed that are commercially manufactured and packaged such as retorted, blanched, roasted, fried, boiled, puffed, malted or pasteurised goods, fresh vegetables, commercially manufactured frozen food and frozen plant products or oils derived from vegetables or seed.

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in destruction of the goods upon arrival in Australia.

*The implementation date will be provided in a subsequent IAN.

What about mail articles in-transit or not yet released?

High-risk plant products within a mail article that have not been released by the department prior to mid-October 2020 will not be permitted entry into Australia. High-risk plant products found within a mail article from mid-October 2020 will be destroyed. Given some mail articles may take several weeks to reach Australia, stakeholders are advised to stop sending high-risk plant products within mail articles from 17 September 2020.

How will import permits be affected?

The department will vary any existing permits, where required. Affected import permit holders will be contacted by the department to discuss this prior to the variation.

Why are these changes needed?

The actions are considered necessary because:

  • The global spread of khapra beetle is increasing and it is being detected on a wide range of plant products and as a hitchhiker pest on containers, from places where khapra beetle is not known to occur.
  • Khapra beetle is a significant threat to Australian plant industries, including the grain export industry. Khapra beetle destroys grain quality making it unfit for human or animal consumption. Stored products also become contaminated with beetles, cast skins and hairs from larvae, which can be a human health risk.
  • If khapra beetle enters Australia it would have significant economic consequences. An outbreak could cost Australia $15.5 billion over 20 years through revenue losses arising from damaged grain in storage and exports.

Australia currently has biosecurity requirements for many products that could be infested with khapra beetle. However, the department believes that the biosecurity requirements need to be expanded and strengthened to prevent a khapra beetle incursion.

Further information

For further information, see the:

Enquiries can be directed to 1800 900 090 or via email at imports@agriculture.gov.au (please title the subject line of the email with ‘Plant Tier 2 – khapra urgent actions’).

Last reviewed: 17 September 2020
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