Starting from 1st of September this year to the 31st of May in the next, the Department of Agriculture is now on high alert for the infamous Brown Marmorated Stink Bug threat that often makes its way via imports.
This has been due to reports that the invasive species has spread dramatically across North America and Europe. As a result, all vessels will be subject to heightened inspection (which will also be randomised).
Shipping companies and importers must implement strict compliance with these measures for the full duration of the season. Any goods that remain untreated or treated with unrecognised treatment providers will be subject to immediate exportation upon arrival.
Below are some important things of note:
#1. LCL and FAK containers are permitted deconsolidation.
Goods being shipped in Freight of All Kind (FAK) or Less than Container Load (LCL) will be permitted to deconsolidate provided that they have been treated offshore and come with early reporting. Treatment for this type of cargo will also be managed at the container level for BSMB risk.
#2. Breakbulk and other Containerised cargo not exempted.
It bears repeating that treatment is mandatory for all types of cargo containers. That includes breakbulk, open-top, flat rack, and also other sealed six-sided containers that are neither LCL or FAK.
#3. Onshore treatment will not permit segregation or deconsolidation.
Regardless of any container type, opting for onshore treatment will still require early reporting and owners will not be permitted to segregate or deconsolidate their cargo at that point. Please make sure to weigh the costs of your treatment options prior to shipping.
#4. Proper packing arrangement highly encouraged for faster treatment.
Those seeking onshore treatment should also ensure that their cargo is arranged in a way that will allow treatment to go smoothly. (Take note that any difficulty that arises during actual treatment process is still grounds for immediate exportation.)
#5. Ro-Ro Vessels will be subject to heightened inspects by default.
Roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels will be more thoroughly inspected through the course of this season. This goes especially for those that have, in one way or another, arrived in port at one of the risk countries. Owners are expected to provide the necessary pre-arrival reporting requirements.
#6. A Vessel Seasonal Pest Scheme will also be in place for Ro-Ro Vessels.
Ro-Ro vessels will be granted an alternative clearance process tailored for them. Those transporting cargo via these vessels will be exempted from inspection provided that the vessel is completely free of insects. Furthermore, other biosecurity inspections will still take place depending on other risks.
#7. A Safeguarding Arrangement Scheme will be trialled.
Certain industry participants will currently test another scheme that may be put into effect. Should it work, certain supply chains may have their cargo exempted provided that the supply chain managers can guarantee their own stringent measures against biosecurity risks, including those aimed at eliminating BSMB contamination. Assessment will cover from the point of manufacture to the point of embarkation.
Lastly, the DoA has also updated the list of countries that are now considered high-risk as a result of the increased expansion of the BSMB. If your goods originate from any of the following states, consider having your cargo treated prior to arriving in Australia:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Japan (heightened vehicle inspections only)
United States of America
If any of these are part of the current course of your imports, then contact your logistics partners now and arrange to meet the heightened requirements this BSMB season.