Brown Marmorated Stink Bug 2017-2018 Update

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have provided us with another update on this season of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug:

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Risk Season 2017-18 recent detections and alert for importers receiving containerised goods from Italy

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is of interest to importers, or clients operating facilities that receive containerised goods from Italy during the highest risk period for BMSB, from 1 September 2017 to 30 April 2018 inclusive.

What has changed?

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has implemented additional measures every year since 2014 to manage the seasonal risk of BMSB infestations in sea cargo arriving at Australian ports.

While the measures previously applied to at-risk goods from the United States, the spread of this pest has resulted in the measures being extended this season to similar goods from Italy, and other European ports if the goods were manufactured or stored in Italy during the risk period. 

Currently, new and used vehicles, vessels, machinery and large machinery parts are the primary pathway for these goods at this stage. The department is also monitoring imports from other European countries where BMSB is known to be established.

Recent detections of live BMSB have been made by the department in containerised goods arriving from Italy, not captured by mandatory treatment measures. Detections to date include BMSB found on a variety of commodities, including parts for electronics and equipment, and on timber furniture. Such detections indicate that BMSB sought out containers and goods where there has been an opportunity for the bugs to seek refuge.

Importers and their staff are asked to be extra vigilant for the presence of these insects when unpacking goods from Italy during the BMSB risk season. The season coincides with the period when the insects are actively seeking shelter from the northern hemisphere winter conditions in homes, buildings, vehicles, machinery, and other goods often in large numbers.

Particular care should be paid when deconsolidating goods, inspecting locations where BMSB may congregate, including crevices or protected areas of shipping containers, on or inside the target goods, or within packaging material for these goods. If the insects are detected operators and staff should follow normal procedures to secure the goods to limit any movement of the insects and notify the department immediately of the detection.

It is requested that importers and operators of facilities that receive containerised consignments during the BMSB risk season pass this information to their staff and suppliers and refer them to the department’s website for more information.

The 2017-18 measures will remain in place for the entire season unless further significant pest infestations are detected. Should this occur, the department may impose emergency requirements similar to those implemented during the 2014-15 season. The department will continue to monitor the risk of brown marmorated stink bugs from other parts of the world and will develop measures accordingly if required.

If you see something that could have entered Australia with imported goods report it to See. Secure. Report. Hotline on 1800 798 636 or complete the online form.

Source: DAWR