TFI Australia offers advice re Marmorated Stink Bug and Actions Required…

It’s not a normal day when your headline reads ‘marmorated stink bug’, but then who wants normal?

Matt Wakefield of TFI Global Logistics in Melbourne, Australia offers the following information and advice against the little bugs…

Emergency Measures Introduced

You should consider this advice in relationship to any cargoes that you have bound for Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture (DoA) has initiated emergency measures to manage what is seen as a significant biosecurity risk posed by the brown marmorated stink bug.

In summary:

  • As of Monday, 23 February 2015, high risk cargo arriving in Australia from United States east coast ports will require offshore treatment.
  • High risk cargo from Savannah and Baltimore currently in transit that does not have the necessary treatment certificates will be subject to measures ranging from assessment and potential treatment on board the vessel to treatment of infested cargo on board and/or on the wharf in Australia. In cases where the department considers that the risk is unacceptably high or cannot be managed effectively, the cargo will not be permitted to be landed at any port in Australia. If an on-shore treatment is required, the cargo will only be permitted to be landed if that treatment can be begun within 48 hours, either at the first port or another port.
  • From 9 March 2015, high risk cargo from all other ports in the US will become subject to the same offshore treatment requirements.
  • The department is monitoring the interception data to assess the risks posed by ports from the United States. This data will be utilised to determine if there is a need to expand the emergency measures to other cargo pathways now and in the future.

These measures have immediate effect.

What is the concern

This exotic stink bug does not occur in Australia and is a pest of considerable biosecurity concern to Australia’s agriculture industry as juveniles and adults feed on, and severely damage, fruit and vegetable crops. Adults can enter vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers in autumn months in the United States, looking for places to shelter over the winter period.

StinkBug1   StinkBug2
(These images are those of actors used for demonstration purposes only. Their views in no way reflect the views of management)

Air Freight is presently not effected

What are high risk consignments?

ØFor vessels arriving until 22 February 2015 

All break bulk cargo including machinery, vehicles, vessels, and automotive parts found to be infested with adult stink bugs during on-arrival inspections in Australia and New Zealand. Vessels with cargo loaded at Savannah or Baltimore are being targeted for these on-arrival inspections because these ports present the highest risk.

ØFor vessels arriving from 23 February 2015

All break bulk cargo as outlined above, and containerised machinery, automotive parts and tyres arriving from east coast ports in the United States. These will require pre-shipment treatment certification.

ØFor vessels arriving from 9 March 2015

All break bulk and containerised cargo as outlined above from all remaining ports in the United States will require pre-shipment treatment certification.

How long will these measures be in place?

Because this risk has a seasonal influence, DoA anticipates that the current emergency measures will be in place until at least the end of April 2015 when the pest risk reduces. This pest is being picked up in increasing numbers in other goods from a range of countries in addition to the United States. At this stage, brown marmorated stink bugs are not being detected to the same degree from other countries and the risk can be managed. However, emergency measures may need to be imposed more often and possibly more broadly in the future until a long term solution to this pest is found offshore.

Advice to Customers & Agents

You should consider this advice in relationship to any cargoes that you have bound for Australia and New Zealand.

This action will affect all cargoes arriving from North America. An assessment of risk will be made on all cargoes. It is usual practice when emergency measures are taken, to develop actual strategies as more information is gained. This leads to some degree of inconsistence and confusion. DoA are the absolute authority in these matters and we, like everyone involved, have no choice but to comply.

Air freight is presently not covered by any specific risk protection regime, but all air cargoes will be monitored.

TFI Global recommends that where ever possible, cargoes should be fumigated before departure and copies of fumigation or treatment certificates should be sent with pre-alerts or any documentation. Treating these cargoes at origin is considerably cheaper than performing required treatments in Australia. Because;

  • any movement of suspected cargoes is considered a high risk proposition.

  •  The volumes of this pest now being intercepted in break bulk imports are causing major treatment difficulties and logistic issues in the management of this risk on shore in both Australia and New Zealand.

DoA require Offshore treatment to ease the pressure on our ports and reduce the risk posed by the bugs to Australia.

Should you have cargo that could be affected, this will add to costs. You should email us with details of these consignments so we can assist you to work through any DoA requirements.

Matthew Wakefield – Director


Tel            +  61  3  9335 4888
Mob           + 61   0407 335 488

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Article by: R Marchant, GFG Group Administrator, 3March15

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