Update to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Seasonal Import Measures 2018-2019 – Is your cargo affected?

What is the Brown Marmorated Stink bug and why is it a problem for Australia?

The Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an exotic pest not found in Australia and needs to be kept out. It could severely impact our agricultural industries. They feed on fruit and vegetable crops rendering them unsellable or reducing production yields. The can now be widely found in North America and Europe. The Department of Agriculture (Quarantine) implements a BMSB seasonal import measures each season.

Please visit the below links to see videos on what stink bugs are doing in other countries in the world and why Australian Quarantine are trying hard to keep these pests from reaching Australia.




When is the BMSB season?

Cargo shipped between 1st September 2018 – 30th April 2019 are subject to the BMSB measures.


What countries are affected?

If you have cargo coming from any of the below Countries, your cargo may be at risk of the BMSB and Quarantine measures may apply.

  • United States of America
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • France
  • Russia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Georgia
  • Japan (heightened vessel surveillance will be the only measure applied).

Australian Quarantine have also introduced measures against the following Emerging Risk Countries:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

Will my goods need to be treated if they are from these countries?

Below is a list of high risk goods that must be treated if they are from the above list of countries.

If your cargo is shipped as Breakbulk, Open Top Container or Flat Rack Container, it MUST be treated offshore. If cargo isn’t treated prior to importation, then it will need to be re-exported or destroyed.

If your cargo is shipped as FCL, FCX, LCL, FAK, then it MUST be treated offshore OR onshore upon arrival.

If your cargo arrives by Airfreight – the stink bug measures do not apply.

36 – Explosives; pyrotechnic products; matches; pyrophoric alloys; certain combustible preparations 74 – Copper and articles thereof 84 – Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof
44 – Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal 75 – Nickel and articles thereof 85 – Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles
45 – Cork and articles of cork 76 – Aluminium and articles thereof 86 – Railway or tramway locomotives, rolling-stock and parts thereof; railway or tramway track fixtures and fittings and parts thereof; mechanical (including electro-mechanical) traffic signalling equipment of all kinds
57 – Carpets and other textile floor coverings 78 – Lead and articles thereof 87 – Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, and parts and accessories thereof
68 – Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials 79 – Zinc and articles thereof 88 – Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof
69 – Ceramic products – including sub chapters I and II 80 – Tin and articles thereof 89 – Ships, boats and floating structures
70 – Glass and glass ware 81 – Other base metals; cermets; articles thereof 93 – Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof
72 – Iron and steel – including sub chapters I, II, III, IV 82 – Tools, implements, cutlery, spoons and forks, of base metal; parts thereof of base metal
73 – Articles of iron or steel 83 – Miscellaneous articles of base metals


Below is a list of Target Risk Goods that will get random onshore inspections from Quarantine officers. They do not need to be treated offshore before importation.

25 – Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement 31 – Fertilisers 47 – Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material; recovered (waste and scrap) paper or paperboard
26 – Ores, slag and ash 38 – Miscellaneous chemical products 48 – Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard
27 – Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes 39 – Plastics and articles thereof – – including sub chapters I and II 49 – Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans
28 – Inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, of rare-earth metals, of radioactive elements or of isotopes – including sub chapters I, II, III, IV and V 40 – Rubber and articles thereof 56 – Wadding, felt and nonwovens; special yarns; twine, cordage, ropes and cables and articles thereof
29 – Organic chemicals – including sub chapters I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XII and X111 46 – Manufactures of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials; basket ware and wickerwork


What kind of treatment is required offshore?

Your options are below:

  • Heat Treatment – At 50°C or higher for at least 20 minutes. Note: the minimum temperature of the coldest part of the treated goods should reach at least 50 °C for at least 20 minutes.
  • Methyl Bromide – 16 g/m3 or above, at 15°C or above, for 12 hours or longer, with a minimum end point reading of 8 g/m3. Note: this minimum temperature is 5°C higher than the sulfuryl fluoride conditions and dosage compensation for temperatures below 15°C is not permitted.
  • Sulfuryl Fluoride

Treatment providers not using an approved third party program*:

  • A dose of 24 g/m3 or above, at 10oC or above, for 12 hours or longer, with a minimum end point concentration of 12 g/m3.


  • A dose of 16 g/m3 or above, at 10oC or above, for 24 hours or longer, with a minimum end point concentration of 8 g/m3.

Treatment providers using an approved third party program*:

  • Achieve a CT of 200 g-h/m3 or more, while conducting the treatment at 10°C or above, for 12 hours or longer, with a minimum end point concentration of 12 g/m3.


  • Achieve a CT of 200 g-h/m3 or more, while conducting the treatment at 10oC or above, for 24 hours or longer, with a minimum end point concentration of 8 g/m3.


*The approved third party programs are:

  • Douglas Products Fumiguide
  • Ensystex II, Inc Fumicalc


So who does my overseas supplier approach to get my cargo treated?

The Department of Agriculture provides and ever evolving list of approved treatment providers in each country. Please refer to the below link for the most current information.



Numerous Offshore Treatment Providers suspended

There have been many offshore treatment providers (especially in Italy) that have been suspended by the Department of Agriculture under the Approved Offshore Treatment Providers Scheme for BMSB as they are not complying with the strict BMSB treatment requirements. The BMSB isn’t currently present in Australia, but unless we can rely on the scheme to be effective, this may not be the case for much longer.


Vessels directed to leave Australian Territory

On the 4th January 2019, the vessel Thalatta and its cargo was directed to leave Australian territory due to unacceptable biosecurity risk posed by Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB). This is the third vessel directed to leave Australian territory this BMSB season. During a controlled discharge under departmental supervision at Fremantle port, one live BMSB was detected on the cargo. Unloading of the vessel was ceased and all unloaded cargo was directed to be reloaded on to the vessel and the vessel to go back out to anchorage. Whilst at anchorage, more live BMSB were detected.


What will be the measures in place for the next stink bug season

Based on how this year’s stink bug season has been, the Department will review their current measures and make necessary changes that are necessary to keep these Stink Bugs out of Australia.  The measures for the next season (From 1st September 2019 to 30th April 2020) will be published closer to the beginning of the new season.

There are some emerging risk countries that the Department is currently operating a low rate of random onshore inspections to monitor their potential risk for future seasons. These emerging countries include: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, China, Korea, Canada, Chile. So you can see, the list of target countries has the potential to be a lot longer next season.

Also, currently cargo arriving by airfreight is not affected by Quarantines current Stink Bug scheme. However, as the risk of invasion by this pest increases, air cargo could be brought under the banner of this scheme, causing major delays at Australian International Airports.


I think I’ve found a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. What do I do?

Collect any live or dead specimens and keep them in a secure container for the department to analyse. SEE. SECURE. REPORT. Hotline 1800 798 636 or by using the online form. 


If you have any concerns or questions regarding next season, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Customs Brokers. Phone 9256 0222 or Email: customs@keysfreight.com.au

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