Brown marmorated stink bug season is now with us, and industry and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are ready to mount a fierce biosecurity defence of Australia’s borders.
DAWR has released a set of seasonal measures for goods shipped from certain countries that are shipped between 1 September this year and 30 April 2019.
Proposed draft measures to tackle the BMSB problem include heightened surveillance on all ro-ro and general cargo vessels with pre-arrival reporting, in addition to heightened surveillance to identify high-risk vessels to be directed for inspection or treatment.
Also included in the draft measures are mandatory offshore treatment of high-risk goods; increased onshore intervention for target-risk goods; and export or destruction of target high-risk goods requiring mandatory offshore treatment and arriving untreated (unless exceptional circumstances are granted).
Target high-risk goods include breakbulk (including vehicles), bricks, tiles, ceramics, steel, stone, cement and goods likely to be stored in a way that provides access for BMSB to over winter.
Target risk goods include chemicals, salt, minerals, fertilisers, plastics, wadding, tyres, wood pulp, printed matter, straw, paper and cardboard.
DAWR’s target risk countries for the stink bug season include the US, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Japan (for heightened vessel surveillance only).
The Sydney response
Sydney container services provider Price & Speed containers saw a huge uptick in fumigation business over last year’s BMSB season, which was a particularly busy one.
Price & Speed depot manager Anthony Wasson said the depot saw an increase of between 65% and 70% in containerised freight alone.
Mr Wasson said while exactly how much fumigation demand will increase this year is unknown, the current season is a major concern.
“Last year we had one country – Italy – and a number of Sydney businesses stopped taking FCL fumigations,” he said.
“It nearly crippled the country, which is why Price & Speed sourced additional space to assist industry and DAWR.”
With DAWR considering adding eight more target risk countries (in addition to Italy), Mr Wasson said the season could see congested terminals and depots; a reduction in the amount of equipment available for exports because unpacking would be slowed; and an increase of charges across the supply chain.
With the extra land and an additional fumigation licence obtained by Price & Speed in response to last year’s stink bug-related fumigation demand, the company is prepared for this year.
“We have put more staff through the fumigation course and increased the chambers for LCL,” Mr Wasson said.
“We also now have a dedicated fumigation manager for both FCL and LCL fumigations – if you think stink bug, think Price & Speed.”
This article appeared in the August edition of DCN Magazine