Requirements for sea containers to protect against khapra beetle

This webpage details the requirements for sea containers under Phase 6 of the khapra beetle urgent actions

We are implementing urgent actions to address the risk of khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) entering Australia. The urgent actions are being implemented in phases and will result in changes to import conditions for plant products and sea containers.

Learn more about the sea container changes below.

Phase 6A

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Sea containers packed with high-risk plant products

As of 12 April 2021, Full Container Load/Full Container Consolidated (FCL/FCX) containers packed with high-risk plant products in a khapra beetle target risk country must be treated offshore using an approved treatment option.

The container must be:

  • treated prior to packing, except if using methyl bromide fumigation
    • If using methyl bromide fumigation, the container can be treated when empty or when packed (provided it complies with our requirements)
  • treated within 21 days prior to export
  • accompanied by appropriate certification.

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

Important: The target of these treatments is the container and not the goods/commodity being shipped within the container. However, from August 2021, the goods may also need to be treated offshore. Learn more at: awe.gov.au/khapra-urgent-actions.

Note:

  • ISO tanks, reefers (including non-operational), flat racks, LCL/FAKs and containers imported as empties are excluded from these requirements.
  • In some instances, a sealing declaration may be required.
  • See the Summary Flowchart  for an overview of these requirements.

Sea containers unpacked in a rural grain growing area

From 12 July 2021, Full Container Load/Full Container Consolidated (FCL/FCX) containers that are packed in a khapra beetle target risk country and will be unpacked in a rural grain growing area of Australia (see below postcode list) must be treated offshore using an approved treatment option. These measures apply to the above containers exported on or from 12 July 2021.


The container must be:

  • treated prior to packing, except if using methyl bromide fumigation
    • If using methyl bromide fumigation, the container can be treated when empty or when packed (provided it complies with our requirements)
  • treated within 21 days prior to export
  • accompanied by appropriate certification.

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

Important: The target of these treatments is the container and not the goods/commodity being shipped within the container. However, in the future, the goods may also need to be treated offshore. Learn more at: awe.gov.au/khapra-urgent-actions.

Note:

  • ISO tanks, reefers (including non-operational), flat racks, LCL/FAKs and containers imported as empties are excluded from these requirements.
  • In some instances, a sealing declaration may be required.
  • In some instances, an importer declaration may be required.
  • Rural grain growing area postcodes are listed in the below document.

We have developed a list of postcodes that will be used to classify rural grain growing areas. The list is available below.

Note: Within split postcodes, mandatory offshore treatment requirements will only apply to containers being unpacked in the areas classified as rural. Postcode classifications can be found using the department’s postcode classification search tool.

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Postcodes for rural grain growing areas PDF 6 223 KB
Postcodes for rural grain growing areas DOCX 6 70 KB

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Approved treatment options

The approved treatment options for target risk containers under Phase 6A are detailed below.

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Methyl bromide fumigation

NOTE: See the methyl bromide fumigation infographic for a summary of these requirements.

Treatment rate

The container must be fumigated offshore with methyl bromide at

  • a dose of 80 g/m³ or above, at 21°C or above, for a minimum of 48 hours, with an end point reading of 20 g/m³ or above OR
  • a dose of 88 g/m³ or above, at 16°C or above, for a minimum of 48 hours, with an end point reading of 22 g/m³ or above OR
  • a dose of 96 g/m³ or above, at 11°C or above, for a minimum of 48 hours, with an end point reading of 24 g/m³ or above OR
  • a dose of 104 g/m³ or above, at 10°C or above, for a minimum of 48 hours, with an end point reading of 26 g/m³ or above.
Note: Dose increases to compensate for temperatures less than 10°C are NOT permitted.

Treatment requirements

The fumigation must be conducted:

  • In a chamber or sheeted enclosure, with both doors completely open and with an additional concentration sampling line placed underneath the container.
  • In accordance with all other requirements in the Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology.
  • By a permitted treatment provider.

Treating the container and the goods at the same time

For methyl bromide treatments, containers can be treated after packing the goods/commodity into the container. These treatments must still comply with the treatment requirements outlined above.

If the commodity being imported also requires methyl bromide treatment, one treatment can be conducted to meet both the container and the commodity treatment conditions, provided the commodity meets the consignment suitability requirements of the Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology. To meet both sets of conditions, the highest treatment parameter of each rate must be met.

This includes the:

  • dose
  • start point concentration
  • temperature
  • exposure period
  • end point concentration reading.

For example, if one treatment was conducted to meet the import conditions for a target risk container AND timber pallets, the highest parameter out of the two treatment rates would need to be met.

Worked example with highest parameter bolded:

Target of fumigation Dose Temperature Exposure period End point concentration
Container 80 g/m³ or above 21°C or above minimum of 48 hours 20 g/m3 or above
Timber pallets 48 g/m3 or above 21°C or above minimum of 24 hours 14.4 g/m3 or above

This means that the final rate applied to combined container and timber packaging treatment would be:

  • fumigated with a dose of 80 g/m³ or above, at 21°C or above, for a minimum of 48 hours, with an end point reading of 20 g/m3 or above.

Note: Phases 3 and 4 of the urgent actions will introduce offshore treatment requirements for high-risk plant products and other risk plant products. Once implemented, fumigation of the container and goods at the same time may not be an option in some instances. Please note, there is currently no set implementation date for Phases 3 and 4 as they have been put on hold while we progress the higher priority work on sea containers.

Heat treatment

NOTE: See the heat treatment infographic for a summary of these requirements.

Treatment rate

The container must be heat treated offshore to at least 60°C for a minimum of 180 minutes.

Treatment requirements

The heat treatment must be conducted:

  • in accordance with the Heat Treatment Methodology
  • prior to loading the goods/commodity into the container
  • in a sheeted enclosure, with one container door open and one container door closed
  • with at least one of the temperature sensors positioned within the door hinge of the door that is closed, in the bottom corner underneath the rubber seal
  • by a permitted treatment provider.

Note: While the effective heat treatment rate for all life stages of khapra beetle is 60oC for a minimum of two hours, we require three hours to heat treat containers because:

  • khapra beetle is often detected between the floorboards and bottom metal rails of sea containers
  • in a trial we conducted we found these areas can take longer to reach 60oC than other areas in the container
  • it is difficult to position temperature sensors in this area without drilling into the container floor
  • in our trial, we also determined that the temperature within the door hinge of the closed door underneath the rubber seal was a suitable proxy for the underfloor area of the container, provided that target temperature was achieved for an additional hour.

Insecticide Spray

NOTE: See the insecticide spray infographic for a summary of these requirements.

Insecticide spray with a product containing the active constituent deltamethrin will be offered as a provisional treatment option only. This means that non-compliance will be monitored closely and will inform the longevity of this treatment method.

As this is a provisional measure, we are strongly encouraging industry to use methyl bromide fumigation or heat treatment over an insecticide spray.

Treatment rate

Prior to packing, the following areas of the sea container must be treated with a suspension concentrate formulated insecticide product, containing the active constituent deltamethrin:

  • the internal and external underside of the floor
  • the internal and external lower portion of the three walls and doors up to 1m
  • the door seals.

The treatment must be applied at a rate of 1 litre spray solution, with a concentration of 0.03% or above, per 20m2, applied as a coarse spray of 350 to 400 microns.

Treatment requirements

The insecticide treatment must be conducted in accordance with the Insecticide Treatment Methodology.

Note: To avoid potential contamination of the products with insecticide, importers should line the interior of the sea container and bag the products.

It is it is the importer's responsibility to ensure that all imported food complies with the Imported Food Control Act 1992 including Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code; and that imported animal and pet food complies with the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (MRL Standard) Instrument 2019.

Permitted treatment providers

The tables below detail the offshore treatment providers permitted to conduct treatments under the Phase 6A measures.

Note: We are utilising the department’s existing offshore treatment provider assurance schemes to manage the registration and compliance of treatment providers, where possible. Leveraging these schemes will provide us with a greater level of assurance of treatment providers’ ability to conduct the required treatments. This includes both the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) and the Offshore Brown Marmorated Stinkbug (BMSB) Treatment Providers Scheme.

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Methyl bromide treatment providers

Country of treatment Permitted treatment providers
AFAS countries

(includes Sri Lanka & India)

The treatment must be conducted by an approved AFAS treatment provider, unless the container is accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.
Notes:

  • Unless the container is accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, treatments conducted by non-AFAS treatment providers in an AFAS country will not be accepted and the container will be directed for export on-arrival in Australia.
  • This condition also applies to target risk containers that are transhipped from a khapra beetle target risk country via an AFAS country for treatment.
Non-AFAS countries

(i.e. all khapra beetle target risk countries except for Sri Lanka & India)

Heat treatment providers

 Country of treatment    Permitted treatment providers  
All countries 

Insecticide spray treatment providers

Country of treatment Permitted treatment providers
All countries
  • Treatments conducted by treatment providers that are not registered will be accepted.
  • However, we strongly encourage all treatment providers interested in conducting insecticide treatments to register their interest at: Offshoretreatments@agriculture.gov.au

Treatment certification

Treatment certificates for sea container treatments must meet the department’s minimum requirements, as set out in the BICON case: Khapra beetle sea container measures and the relevant treatment methodology. Treatment certificate templates for each treatment are available via the following links:

Notes:

  • All treatment providers that are registered with the department will be assigned an AEI number.
  • Further information for custom brokers on the use of AEIs for certificates covering khapra beetle sea container treatments can be found on our AEI webpage.
  • If a phytosanitary certificate is provided, a treatment certificate issued in accordance with the above requirements is still required.
  • Treatments are not to be conducted by a treatment provider listed as ‘unacceptable’, ‘suspended’ or ‘withdrawn’ on the department’s offshore treatment providers list. 

Sealing declaration

A sealing declaration may be required in some instances. Ensure you use the sealing declaration template.

1. To demonstrate that Phase 6A measures do not apply to a container.

As outlined in the summary flowchart, a sealing declaration is required for certain containers to confirm the packing location. For example, sea containers that are packed in a non-khapra beetle country (i.e. containers packed with high-risk plant products or containers destined for a rural grain growing area of Australia) but:

2. To demonstrate that a container has been treated within 21 days prior to export.

The date of export is defined in the Minimum documentary and import declaration requirements policy. Under this definition, a consignment is considered to be exported either:

  • when it is lodged with the freight forwarder, shipping company/airline, charter operator or an appointed agent in the country of origin, for ultimate destination in Australia
  • when it is shipped on board the vessel
  • when it is packed in a container and sealed in preparation for export.

As an example, if the container is packed and sealed within 21 days of treatment, the container meets the treatment within 21 days of export requirement. To demonstrate that this requirement has been met a sealing declaration is required. Please refer to the section 9.1 of the Minimum documentary and Import declaration requirements policy for guidance on other options to provide documentary evidence to demonstrate the date of export.

Importer declaration

In some instances, we may seek an importer declaration to verify the unpack location of the sea container. This declaration may be requested in instances where the goods delivery address indicates a rural grain growing area but nil khapra concerns have been identified by a broker, or ;where import declarations are amended to a metropolitan or rural non-grain growing area. When an importer declaration is requested, ensure you use the below importer declaration template.

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Importer declaration template DOCX PDF Icon 1 33 KB

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Onshore treatment

Onshore treatment will not be currently offered as a standard practice as movement of untreated containers currently poses an unacceptable risk. This is because khapra beetle could be dislodged from the container into the environment when moving the container from the port to a treatment facility.

Onshore risk mitigation options will only be considered in exceptional circumstances or when the department’s in-transit policy is enacted.

In-transit policy

The khapra beetle in-transit policy will apply to containers impacted by Phase 6A. This means that if a treatment provider is listed as suspended or unacceptable or under investigation, all treatment certification issued by them are considered unacceptable from the date of their change in status. The date of change in status is the date published on our website, regardless of the date of treatment or the date of issue on the certificate. This includes certification issued both before and after the change in their status, for goods that have not yet been cleared through the border. In this situation, containers may be subject to on-wharf risk containment measures prior to onshore treatment using methyl bromide. Both the goods and the container will require treatment and de-consolidation of the container will generally not be permitted.

Exceptional circumstances

Goods that are imported for the use of delivering emergency services are considered an exceptional circumstance. In this situation, onshore risk management options will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Importers are required to submit any exemption requests in writing to the department (imports@agriculture.gov.au) and receive approval prior to unloading goods in the Australian Territory. Please note that submission of a request does not mean automatic approval is granted.

Additional material

The below resources provide an overview of the sea container measures.

Information sessions

We recently ran information sessions to provide further information on the Phase 6A measures. A copy of the presentation and questions and answers from these sessions are available below.

Note: This presentation has been updated since the information sessions to ensure it aligns with the current policies detailed on this webpage.

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Document Pages File size
Khapra Beetle Phase 6A Information Session: Presentation PDF 26 4.3 MB
Khapra Beetle Phase 6A Information Session: Presentation DOCX 7 53 KB
Khapra Beetle Phase 6A Information Session: Q&A PDF 11 283 KB
Khapra Beetle Phase 6A Information Session: Q&A DOCX 11 74 KB

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Further information sessions were run on the individual treatment options. Copies of the presentations and questions and answers from these sessions are available below.

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Document Pages File size
Khapra Beetle Insecticide Treatment Information Session: Presentation PDF 25 2.1 MB
Khapra Beetle Insecticide Treatment Information Session: Presentation DOCX 5 38 KB
Khapra Beetle Methyl Bromide Treatment Information Session: Presentation PDF 21 2.0 MB
Khapra Beetle Methyl Bromide Treatment Information Session: Presentation DOCX 7 38 KB
Khapra Beetle Heat Treatment Information Session: Presentation PDF 22 2.1 MB
Khapra Beetle Heat Treatment Information Session: Presentation DOCX 7 33 KB
Khapra Beetle Insecticide Treatment Information Session: Q&A PDF 5 147 KB
Khapra Beetle Insecticide Treatment Information Session: Q&A DOCX 5 53 KB
Khapra Beetle Methyl Bromide Treatment Information Session: Q&A PDF 9 211 KB
Khapra Beetle Methyl Bromide Treatment Information Session: Q&A DOCX 9 66 KB
Khapra Beetle Heat Treatment Information Session: Q&A PDF 4 160 KB
Khapra Beetle Heat Treatment Information Session: Q&A DOCX 4 48 KB

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Summary flowchart

Check if your container needs to comply with the khapra beetle Phase 6A sea container measures using the below flowchart.

Note: If you require a sealing declaration (as per the flowchart), ensure you use the sealing declaration template.

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Khapra Beetle Phase 6A Summary Flowchart PDF 1 215 KB
Khapra Beetle Phase 6A Summary Flowchart DOCX 2 51 KB

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Posters

The following posters on sea container cleanliness have been developed for your use. Help us keep khapra beetle out of Australia by sharing them with your networks.

Poster 1: Look out for khapra beetle

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Document Pages File size
English Poster: Look out for khapra beetle PDF 1 1.2 MB
English Poster: Look out for khapra beetle DOCX 4 1.5 MB
Arabic Poster: Look out for khapra beetle PDF 1 1.4 MB
Arabic Poster: Look out for khapra beetle DOCX 4 1.1 MB
Chinese Simplified Poster: Look out for khapra beetle PDF 1 1.4 MB
Chinese Simplified Poster: Look out for khapra beetle DOCX 4 1.1 MB
Chinese Traditional Poster: Look out for khapra beetle PDF 1 1.4 MB
Chinese Traditional Poster: Look out for khapra beetle DOCX 4 1.1 MB
Vietnamese Poster: Look out for khapra beetle PDF 1 1.4 MB
Vietnamese Poster: Look out for khapra beetle DOCX 4 1.1 MB

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Poster 2: Seven tips for keeping containers clean

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Document Pages File size
English Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 152 KB
English Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOCX 1 47 KB
Arabic Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 117 KB
Arabic Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOC 1 70 KB
Chinese Simplified Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 134 KB
Chinese Simplified Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOC 1 50 KB
Chinese Traditional Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 143 KB
Chinese Traditional Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOC 1 50 KB
French Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 160 KB
French Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOC 1 67 KB
Russian Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 139 KB
Russian Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOC 1 55 KB
Spanish Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean PDF 1 156 KB
Spanish Poster: 7 tips for keeping containers clean DOC 1 69 KB

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Treatment infographics

The following treatment infographics have been developed for your use. Help us keep khapra beetle out of Australia by sharing them with your networks.

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Document Pages File size
Methyl bromide treatment requirements PDF 1 247 KB
Methyl bromide treatment requirements DOCX 2 51 KB
Heat treatment requirements PDF 1 156 KB
Heat treatment requirements DOCX 2 51 KB
Insecticide spray treatment requirements PDF 1 193 KB
Insecticide spray treatment requirements DOCX 2 51 KB

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Reporting and onshore assessment requirements

The following infographics have been developed for your use. They detail AEI reporting and onshore assessment requirements.

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Document Pages File size
AEI reporting requirements for khapra beetle sea container treatments PDF 1 264 KB
AEI reporting requirements for khapra beetle sea container treatments DOCX 3 51 KB
Khapra beetle sea container measures: Onshore assessment PDF 3 395 KB
Khapra beetle sea container measures: Onshore assessment DOCX 6 56 KB

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Sea container cleanliness video

What does a snail almost the size of a dinner plate, a beetle smaller than a grain of rice, and an ant with a fiery sting have in common? They are all excellent hitchhiker pests! 

Keeping sea containers clean is critical to stopping the spread of hitchhiker pests. Learn how you can help us fight the battle against hitchhiker pests.

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Sea container cleanliness - Transcript DOCX Word Icon 2 37 KB

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Phase 6B

Phase 6B is expected to commence in late 2021 and will introduce measures to a broader range of containers (i.e. all high-risk containers). Further information about these measures, including details on consultation, will be made available on our website.

Further information

If you:

  • want to import plant products into Australia, it is important that you check BICON
  • want to receive updates on the implementation of the urgent actions register to receive BICON alerts and IANs.

For:

  • questions and information related directly to offshore khapra treatments, please email offshoretreatments@agriculture.gov.au
  • any further questions, please contact us on 1800 900 090 or via email imports@agriculture.gov.au (please title the subject line of the email with ‘Plant Tier 2 – Khapra urgent actions’).
Last reviewed: 2 August 2021
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