Preparation for the 2018-2019 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) risk season

It seems like just a short while ago that the 2017-2018 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Season closed (it was the 30th April after all!).  It was a very busy season, with emergency measures being stepped up to ensure that this bug didn’t make Australia it’s home.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are now starting to prepare for the 2018-2019 that includes goods shipped between the 1st September to the 30th April 2019 inclusive.  Read below and make sure your ready this season.

Who does this notice affect?

Clients in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, importers and customs brokers—associated with importing goods (that require BMSB treatment) during the BMSB risk season (shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive).

2018-19 BMSB season measures

To manage the risk posed by BMSB to Australia, the department will mandate additional measures during the 2018-19 BMSB risk season (goods shipped to Australia between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive). These measures will require certain goods arriving from certain countries of risk to be treated or subject to increased intervention before arriving into Australian territory.

Details of BMSB seasonal measures, including the applicable goods and specific treatment rates, will be published on the BMSB web page in the near future.

Importantly, goods exempt from BMSB seasonal measures must continue to meet standard import conditions (as prescribed on BICON), and will not be subject to the BMSB-specific treatment assurance measures detailed below.

At this stage, the import requirements to manage BMSB risk will continue to apply to goods of Italian origin and break bulk goods from the USA during the 2018-19 BMSB risk season. Extension of import requirements to additional countries is currently under active consideration.

The department will soon commence information sessions in preparation for the 2018-19 BMSB season. These sessions will outline work underway on import requirements for next season, including possible extension to other countries.

Offshore treatments

In readiness for the 2018-2019 BMSB season, the department is finalising new treatment assurance measures.

To ensure that BMSB treatments conducted offshore are effective and consistent, the department is developing new treatment assurance measures for the 2018-19 season, including:

  • minimum standards for BMSB treatments and treatment providers
  • a list of approved treatment providers
  • processes to prevent the use of fraudulent certificates.

These requirements will apply to Italy and the United States in the first instance. Other countries are also being considered for increased requirements for BMSB treatment providers, and clients will be notified of any such changes shortly.

Minimum standards for offshore BMSB treatments and treatment providers

Currently, the approved treatments for BMSB are:

  • sulfuryl fluoride
  • methyl bromide
  • heat treatment.

The department has developed minimum requirements for performing each of these treatments, which are detailed in the department’s Sulfuryl Fluoride Fumigation Methodology, Methyl Bromide Fumigation Methodology, and Heat Treatment Methodology. These methodologies will be published on the BMSB web page in July 2018.

The department has also developed registration and compliance requirements for treatment providers conducting BMSB treatments. These requirements are detailed in the department’s Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme, which will be published on the BMSB web page in July 2018.

Approved offshore BMSB treatment providers

The department will require all treatment providers conducting BMSB treatments in Italy and the United States to be registered with the department on an approved list of offshore treatment providers. Only treatment providers who meet the department’s requirements will be eligible for registration.

The department will only accept BMSB treatment certificates from treatment providers included on the approved list of offshore treatment providers during the 2018-19 BMSB season.

Offshore treatment providers who intend to become an approved treatment provider for conducting BMSB treatments in the upcoming season will need to:

  1. Notify the department of their intent to register as soon as possible by submitting a Notification of Intent. This form can be found on the BMSB web page.
  2. Complete an application form for the Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme. As part of this application, they will be required to provide a range of documentary evidence demonstrating their eligibility. The application form will available on the department’s website in July 2018.

Clients are requested to advise offshore treatment providers that conducted BMSB treatments during the 2017-18 BMSB season to notify of their intent to register as an approved treatment provider. This will ensure all offshore treatment providers are aware of the impending changes and are given adequate opportunity to register with the department prior to the commencement of the 2018-19 BMSB season.

Fraudulent certificates

The department has developed a system to prevent the use of fraudulent certificates. Consignments that arrive in Australia with a fraudulent certificate, or with a certificate from a treatment provider that is not approved, will be identified and directed for onshore treatment, export or disposal in an approved manner.

BMSB treatment providers can contact the department at Air and Sea Cargo.

Source: The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources