BROWN marmorated stink bug season is once again upon us for 2023-24.

On 1 September seasonal measures aimed at mitigating the biosecurity risks of the BMSB will come into force.

The exotic pests hitchhike on containers and in cargo. If ever established in Australia, the critters could do serious damage across the agriculture industry.

Seasonal measures apply to vessels that berth, load or tranship cargo from “target risk countries” between 1 September 2023 and 30 April 2024.

They also apply to target goods manufactured in or shipped from those countries.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has published a list of target risk countries on its website.

Changes to the include the addition of Uzbekistan as a target risk country and the addition of China and the United Kingdom as emerging risk countries.

Goods shipped from China may be selected for random inspection if they were shipped between 1 September and 31 December.

And for cargo coming from the UK, random inspections will apply to goods shipped between 1 December to 30 April.

An advisory from Maersk noted the measures in relation to New Zealand shipping; it said BMSB target goods must be fumigated offshore before arriving to New Zealand.

“Furthermore, all shipments from Italy require treatment before arrival in New Zealand despite commodity and container type,” it said.  

“There is one exception to this rule: BMSB management is not required if target vehicles, machinery, and parts are loaded into a fully enclosed container which is sealed before 1 September and then exported before 1 October of the same year.

“Maersk will continue to offer fumigation services at transhipment hubs in Malaysia and Singapore, in order to assist with Australia and New Zealand BMSB regulatory requirements.”