Media statement: Protecting our ag industries from the risk of BMSB

4 October 2018

(Issued by Department of Agriculture)

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is working to ensure Australian producers and our $60 billion agricultural industries are protected from the threat of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) this season.

BMSB also pose a threat to our way of life as they can enter vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers, as well as cause an allergic reaction in some people who come into contact with them.

Between September and April each year, there is a heightened risk of BMSB on cargo imported from the US and several European countries.

For the 2018–19 season we have strengthened biosecurity measures both offshore and at the border to ensure BMSB remains a pest exotic to Australia.

This stink bug season, we’re requiring targeted, high-risk cargo (such as motor vehicles and heavy machinery) and cargo from high-risk countries (including France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia and the USA) to be treated for BMSB through an approved treatment provider.

Managing the BMSB risk is likely to cause delays in clearance times due to identification of treated and untreated containerised cargo and the capacity of storage facilities at approved arrangement sites and onshore treatment provider premises.

The import and shipping industries can help avoid onshore delays by arranging for their goods to undergo mandatory treatment by an approved offshore provider prior to arrival into Australia. Industry is also encouraged to lodge relevant import documentation as early as possible.

The department has been in close liaison with industry to make sure they’re aware of and prepared for the increased measures.

For more information on the enhanced requirements, visit the department’s seasonal measures for BMSB page.