Requirements for high-risk plant products to protect against khapra beetle

This webpage details the requirements for high-risk plant products under Phases 1-3 of the khapra beetle urgent actions.

Import conditions for high-risk plant products vary depending on the mode of arrival. These include:

  • Unaccompanied personal effects and low value freight (Phase 1)
  • Travellers and mail (Phase 2)
  • Commercial air and sea freight (Phase 3)

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Definition of high-risk plant products

The following products (in various raw and processed forms) are high-risk plant products.

Product Tariff item code
Bean seed (Phaseolus spp.) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Celery seed (Apium graveolens) 120929, 1209910007, 120999
Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0909
Cucurbit seed (CucurbitaCucumisCitrullus spp.) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 120770, 120799
Cumin seed (Cuminum cyminum) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0909
Dried chillies/capsicum (Capsicum spp.) 090421, 090422
Faba bean (Vicia faba) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0909
Lentils (Lens culinaris) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Mung beans, cowpeas (Vigna spp.) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Pea seed (Pisum sativum) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 1202, 0713, 1106
Pigeon Pea seed (Cajanus cajan) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 0713, 1106
Rice (Oryza sativa) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 1006, 110290
Safflower seed (Carthamus tinctorius) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 120760, 120799
Soybean (Glycine max) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 1201
Wheat seed (Triticum spp) 120929, 1209910007, 120999, 1001, 110419, 110429, 110430, 110311, 1101

Note:

  • High-risk plant products also includes all synonyms and subordinate taxa of the species listed above.
  • The following items are excluded from these requirements:
    • commercially prepared and packaged goods that have been thermally processed so that the nature of the material has been transformed from their original raw form, such as retorted, blanched, roasted, fried, par-boiled, boiled, puffed, malted or pasteurised.
    • goods that are commercially processed to a powder, meal or flakes and packaged in bags less than or equal to 25kgs (such as cereal flours like semolina, wheat flour, chilli flakes and ground spices
      Note: these goods do not require mandatory treatment from Khapra beetle target risk countries, however commercial consignments will require a phytosanitary certificate verifying freedom from khapra beetle.
    • breakfast cereals, instant cereal beverage mixes, couscous meal mixes and snack foods (such as muesli bars, granola bars and wholefood bars/balls, trail mixes) that are commercially prepared and retail packaged*
    • bakery and bread mixes (including whole seeds) that are commercially prepared and retail packaged*
    • commercially prepared and packaged herbal teas containing, with or without seeds (including loose leaf and teabags)
    • goods that are chemically processed and preserved such as with a Formalin Propionic Acid fixative, Formalin Acetic acid alcohol, Carnoy’s fixative or ethanol. 
    • fresh vegetables
    • commercially manufactured frozen or freeze-dried food (perishable foodstuffs only)
    • frozen plant samples for plant research (including through the use of liquid nitrogen and freeze drying) 
    • oils derived from vegetables or seed
    • preserved or pickled (such as in vinegar or alcohol)
    • goods that have been refined or extracted to obtain specific components from plant-based raw materials. Examples include starch, lecithin, gluten, protein, cellulose, sugars and pigments

The above exclusions may be determined through evidence provided on a product label or commercial documentation, including commercial invoice or manufacturer’s declaration.

*An imported good is considered retail packaged if it has been commercially prepared and packaged overseas and is in a final state that requires no further processing, packaging or labelling prior to sale or use in Australia.

Phase 1: Ban on high-risk plant products within UPEs and low value freight

As of 3 September 2020, high-risk plant products cannot be imported into Australia via:

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

Important:  
The following high-risk plant products are excluded from this ban:

Product Documents required to demonstrate the products meet the criteria for exclusion from the ban
Products imported for research purposes Statement that the consignment is intended for research purposes.
Products imported as commercial trade samples* Supplier’s declaration, manufacturer’s declaration, commercial invoice, or importer declaration with evidence that the goods have been imported by an Australian company or business.

*Note: This exemption currently applies to all high-risk plant products imported as commercial trade samples. In September 2021, this exemption will be restricted to only include seeds imported for sowing. Importantly, all other high-risk plant products imported for commercial purposes arriving in low value freight will still be permitted entry into Australia after this change, however they will be required to meet the relevant treatment or inspection conditions detailed in Phase 3. Importation of high-risk plant products via low value freight for personal use will continue to remain banned.

Phase 2: Ban on high-risk plant products via international travellers and mail articles

As of 15 October 2020, high-risk plant products cannot be imported into Australia via:

  • baggage carried by international travellers (including crew) entering via sea or air
  • mail articles (including items posted using Express Mail Service).

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

Phase 3: New requirements for high-risk plant products imported via all commercial pathways

From 30 September 2021, new import conditions will commence for high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways. The new import conditions will apply to high-risk plant products exported on or after 30 September 2021. High-risk plant products exported prior to 30 September 2021 and landing on or after 30 September are not subject to the new import conditions. 

The new import conditions will apply to air freight and sea freight, including LCL (Less than Container Load) and FCL/FCX (Full Container Load/Full Container Consolidated) containers. The requirements will exclude seeds for sowing and goods that are imported for research purposes coming as low value freight (less than $1000).

The conditions will vary depending on whether the country of export for the products is a khapra beetle target risk country or not, as summarised below.

Table 1: Summary of Phase 3 requirements

Country of export Product requirements Treatment certificate required (Y/N)? Phytosanitary certificate required
(Y/N)?
Khapra beetle target risk country

Note: If the products are to be packed into an FCL/FCX sea container, the sea container itself must also be treated. See details here.
  • Treated offshore
AND
  • Inspected by government official of exporting country
Yes Yes
All other countries
  • Inspected offshore by government official of exporting country.
No Yes

Note: High-risk plant products arriving as low value freight will only be permitted entry if the consignment is:

  • imported for commercial use by an Australian company or business and
  • meets the relevant treatment or inspection requirement listed in Table 1 above.

Importation of high-risk plant products via low value freight for personal use is banned, as detailed in Phase 1 requirements.

To demonstrate high-risk plant products arriving as low value freight have been imported for commercial use, one of the following documents will be required:

  • Supplier’s declaration, manufacturer’s declaration, commercial invoice, or importer declaration with evidence that the goods have been imported by an Australian company or business.

Treatment and treatment certification requirements

As outlined in Table 1 above, high-risk plant products exported from khapra beetle target risk countries via sea and air freight will be required to be treated offshore.

The treatment must be completed within 21 days of export

The approved treatment options are methyl bromide fumigation and heat treatment. Modified atmosphere treatment has been identified as an alternative treatment option.

Methyl bromide fumigation

The high-risk plant products must be:

  • fumigated offshore with methyl bromide at one of the rates listed in Table 2
  • accompanied by a methyl bromide treatment certificate
  • accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.

The treatment and treatment certificate must meet the requirements of the Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology.

Table 2: Methyl bromide fumigation treatment rates

Temperature Minimum initial dose rate Exposure period Minimum end point reading
21°C and above 80 g/m³ 48 hours 20 g/m³
16°C - 20.9°C 88 g/m³ 48 hours 22 g/m³
11°C - 15.9°C 96 g/m³ 48 hours 24 g/m³
10°C - 10.9°C 104 g/m³ 48 hours 26 g/m³

Notes: Dose increases to compensate for temperatures less than 10°C are NOT permitted.

Packaging requirements for an effective fumigation

To ensure the fumigant effectively treats the products, the products must be either fumigated:

  • in gas permeable packaging; OR
  • prior to being packaged; OR
  • with any impermeable packaging open during fumigation.

Examples of gas permeable packaging include:

  • Woven fabrics and plastics that are not lined/laminated with impermeable materials
  • Dry cloth
  • Perforated plastics or cellophane that meet the perforation requirements of the Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology
  • Paper and cardboard that is not waxed, lined, laminated or painted.

Examples of non-permeable packaging include:

  • Solid plastic or cellophane (including sheets, bags, pouches, films, wraps)
  • Woven fabrics and plastics that are lined, coated or laminated with impermeable materials
  • Paper and cardboard that is waxed, lined, laminated, or painted
  • Sealed pouches, tins and cans
  • Sealed glass jars and bottles.

See our packaging suitability guide for more information: Guide to packaging suitability for performing QPS treatments

Heat treatment

The high-risk plant products must be:

  • heat treated offshore at a minimum temperature of 60°C for 120 minutes, measured at the core of the goods
  • accompanied by a heat treatment certificate
  • accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.

The treatment and treatment certificate must meet the requirements of the Heat Treatment Methodology.

Note: the above heat treatment rate (60°C for 120 minutes) applies to high-risk plant products only. The khapra beetle heat treatment rate for sea containers is 60°C for 180 minutes, as detailed on the sea containers webpage.

Controlled atmosphere treatments: altered pressure

The high-risk plant products must be:

  • treated offshore using a controlled atmosphere treatment at one of the rates in Table 3
  • accompanied by a controlled atmosphere treatment certificate
  • accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate
  • accompanied by an import permit. Please include the following details in your permit application:
    • controlled atmosphere treatment rate that will be used
    • name and contact details of the treatment provider
    • details of any government registration or approvals to treat goods for export
    • type/brand of controlled atmosphere treatment system
    • how the plant products are packaged for treatment.

Table 3: Controlled Atmosphere Treatments: Altered pressure rates

Temperature Concentration Pressure Minimum Exposure period
20°C or above Carbon dioxide (CO2) - 95% or above 20 bar or above 5 hours
20°C or above Carbon dioxide (CO2) - 95% or above 30 bar or above 3 hours

Notes: The temperature must be for the enclosure and the products.

Packaging requirements for an effective treatment

To ensure the treatment effectively treats the products, the products must be treated either: 

  • in gas permeable packaging; OR
  • prior to being packaged; OR
  • with any impermeable packaging open during fumigation.

Examples of gas permeable packaging include:

  • woven fabrics and plastics that are not lined/laminated with impermeable materials
  • dry cloth
  • perforated plastics or cellophane that meet the perforation requirements of the Controlled Atmosphere Treatment Methodology
  • paper and cardboard that is not waxed, lined, laminated or painted.

Examples of non-permeable packaging include:

  • solid plastic or cellophane (including sheets, bags, pouches, films, wraps)
  • woven fabrics and plastics that are lined, coated or laminated with impermeable materials
  • paper and cardboard that is waxed, lined, laminated, or painted
  • sealed pouches, tins and cans
  • sealed glass jars and bottles.

See our packaging suitability guide for more information: Guide to packaging suitability for performing QPS treatments.

Controlled atmosphere treatments: atmospheric pressure

The high-risk plant products must be:

  • treated offshore using a controlled atmosphere treatment at one of the rates in Table 4
  • accompanied by a controlled atmosphere treatment certificate
  • accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate
  • accompanied by an import permit. Please include the following details in your permit application:
    • controlled atmosphere treatment rate that will be used
    • name and contact details of the treatment provider
    • details of any government registration or approvals to treat goods for export
    • type/brand of controlled atmosphere treatment system
    • how the plant products are packaged for treatment.

The treatment and the treatment certificate must meet the requirements of the Controlled Atmosphere Treatment Methodology.

Table 4: Controlled Atmosphere Treatments: Atmospheric pressure rates

Temperature Concentration Pressure Minimum Exposure period
25°C or above Carbon dioxide (CO2) - 80% or above Normal atmospheric pressure 28 consecutive days (672 hours)
Greater than or equal to 25°C and less than 28°C Oxygen (O2) - 1% or less Normal atmospheric pressure 22 consecutive days (528 hours)
28°C or above Oxygen (O2) - 1% or less Normal atmospheric pressure 12 consecutive days (288 hours)

Notes: The temperature must be for the enclosure and the products.

Packaging requirements for an effective treatment

To ensure the treatment effectively treats the products, the products must be treated either: 

  • in gas permeable packaging; OR
  • prior to being packaged; OR
  • with any impermeable packaging open during fumigation.

Examples of gas permeable packaging include:

  • woven fabrics and plastics that are not lined/laminated with impermeable materials
  • dry cloth
  • perforated plastics or cellophane that meet the perforation requirements of the Controlled Atmosphere Treatment Methodology
  • paper and cardboard that is not waxed, lined, laminated or painted.

Examples of non-permeable packaging include:

  • solid plastic or cellophane (including sheets, bags, pouches, films, wraps)
  • woven fabrics and plastics that are lined, coated or laminated with impermeable materials
  • paper and cardboard that is waxed, lined, laminated, or painted
  • sealed pouches, tins and cans
  • sealed glass jars and bottles.

See our packaging suitability guide for more information: Guide to packaging suitability for performing QPS treatments.

Alternative treatment options

Recognising that our approved treatment options may not be feasible for some products and pathways, we have approved the alternative treatment option of controlled atmosphere treatments. We are committed to providing additional alternative treatment options where possible and as such, we are exploring and will continue to consider other alternatives.

We welcome submissions on alternatives. Alternative treatment options must be proven to be effective against all life stages of khapra beetle. For us to consider an alternative treatment option, the submission must include:

  • a treatment targeted at the diapausing larvae stage of khapra beetle (as this is the most difficult life stage to kill)
  • efficacy data demonstrating effectiveness of the treatment
  • independently validated results.

If you would like to submit an alternative treatment option for our consideration, please contact us via email imports@agriculture.gov.au (please title the subject line of the email with ‘Plant Tier 2 – khapra urgent actions’).

Timeframe between treatment and export

The treatment must be completed within 21 days of export. To demonstrate compliance with this requirement, the date of export (as indicated on an air waybill, bill of lading, sealing declaration, gate in gate out certificate or forwarder’s cargo receipt) must be within 21 days of the goods being treated (as indicated on the treatment certificate).

Note: under the department’s Minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy, a consignment is considered to be exported either:

  1. when it is lodged with the freight forwarder, shipping company/airline, charter operator or an appointed agent in the place of origin, for ultimate destination in an Australian territory, OR
  2. when it is shipped on board the vessel for an ultimate destination in an Australian territory, OR
  3. when it is packed in a container and sealed in preparation for transport for an ultimate destination in an Australia territory.

Phytosanitary certification requirements

As outlined in Table 1 above, all high-risk plant products imported via high-value sea and air freight will require phytosanitary certification under Phase 3 of the khapra beetle measures. The phytosanitary certificate must include an additional declaration, as detailed below.

Khapra beetle country of export

If the products are to be exported from a khapra beetle target risk country, the following information applies.

The declarations required on the phytosanitary certificate are dependent on the treatment type used to treat the products.

Table 5: Additional declarations that will be required on the phytosanitary certificate for high-risk plant products exported from khapra beetle target risk countries

Treatment type Additional phytosanitary certificate declarations required
Methyl Bromide The following declarations are required:
  1. “The goods were fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with Australia’s Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology as per the attached methyl bromide treatment certificate [insert cert number].”
AND
  1. One of the following declarations:
    1. “The goods were fumigated in gas permeable packaging”
    2. “The goods were fumigated prior to packing”
    3. “Impermeable packaging was open during fumigation”
Note: Certificates containing more than one of the above packaging declarations will not be accepted. 

AND
  1. “Following treatment, representative samples were inspected and found free from all live species of Trogoderma.”
Heat Treatment The following declarations are required:
  1. “The goods were treated in accordance with Australia’s Controlled Atmosphere Methodology as per the attached Controlled Atmosphere Treatment certificate [insert cert number].”
AND
  1. “Following treatment, representative samples were inspected and found free from all live species of Trogoderma.”
Controlled Atmosphere Treatments The following declarations are required:
  1. “The goods were treated in accordance with Australia’s Controlled Atmosphere Methodology as per the attached Controlled Atmosphere Treatment certificate [insert cert number].”
AND
  1. One of the following declarations:
    1. “The goods were treated in gas permeable packaging”
    2. “The goods were treated prior to packing”
    3. “Impermeable packaging was open during treatment”
Note: Certificates containing more than one of the above packaging declarations will not be accepted. 

AND
  1. “Following treatment, representative samples were inspected and found free from all live species of Trogoderma.”

All other countries

If the products are to be exported from any other country, i.e. a country not listed as khapra beetle target risk country, the following information applies.

All high-risk plant products will be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that includes the following additional declaration:

“Representative samples were inspected and found free from evidence of any species of Trogoderma (whether live, dead or exuviae) in Australia’s list of Trogoderma species of biosecurity concern”.

Supporting material for Phases 1-3

Last reviewed: 27 September 2021
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