THE Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is bringing in additional anti-beetle measures for import containers that will be unpacked in a rural grain-growing area of Australia. The measures will come into effect on 12 July.

Under the next phase of urgent measures to address the risk of khapra beetle, target risk containers must be treated offshore prior to packing using an approved method and accompanied by a valid treatment certificate. Containers already loaded with goods can only be treated with methyl bromide.

Since 12 April, any container packed with high-risk plant products in a target risk country were subject to the above requirements.

The new requirements will apply to containers where other goods are be packed into a container in a target risk country and they will be unpacked in a rural grain-growing area of Australia.

Further details – including a list of postcodes deemed “rural grain-growing areas”, details of approved treatment options and other information – can be found on the DAWE website.

Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is a pernicious pest and is not present in Australia, according to DAWE. It feeds directly on grain and dry food stuffs and can significantly damage them. Infested goods can become contaminated with beetles and larval skins and hairs, which can be a health risk and be difficult to remove from grain storage structures and transport vessels.