Biosecurity measures reinforced for brown marmorated stink bug season 2020-21

1 September 2020

In response to the rapid expansion of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) throughout Europe and North America, the department has retained the seasonal measures to manage the risk of BMSB from arriving in Australia for the 2020–21 BMSB risk season.

Head of Biosecurity, Andrew Tongue, said the strong measures would help manage the BMSB risk to safeguard Australia’s agricultural industries, environment and exports.

“The department uses a range of scientific, intelligence and evidence-based information when setting the measures, including onshore verification activities,” Mr Tongue said.

“Measures will again apply to certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from, target risk countries. They will also apply to vessels that berth at, load or tranship from target risk countries.

“BMSB is rapidly expanding throughout Europe and North America, so the major change for the forthcoming season is the increase in the number of target countries with BMSB.”

Ukraine, Portugal, Moldova and Kazakhstan have been added to the list of target risk countries for the 2021-21 season. A further 7 countries have been identified as an emerging risk: Belarus, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom and Chile.

“The department will continue to monitor emerging risks and conduct random onshore inspections of goods shipped from these countries,” Mr Tongue said.

“The department has also worked closely with New Zealand on these measures to ensure consistency as much as possible.”

“The department will continue to review these measures based on detections of BMSB and the risk pathways throughout the season and make any necessary adjustments.”

For more information on Australia’s BMSB seasonal measures, visit https://www.agriculture.gov.au/bmsb

Fast Facts:

  • BMSB season runs from September through to April each year, so enhanced seasonal measures are implemented to address the biosecurity risk.
  • The measures apply to goods shipped from 1 September 2020 that arrive in Australian territory by 31 May 2021 (inclusive).
  • BMSB is a significant threat to Australia’s $12 billion horticulture industries because of the damage it can cause to vegetable crops, fruit and ornamental trees.
  • BMSB is also considered a social amenity pest due to their habit of seeking shelter in large numbers in houses, factories and machinery over winter.