Bedbug season is back!


September marks the start of the stink bug risk season in Australia and New Zealand and this year China and the UK have been identified as ’emerging stink bug risk countries’. This means that ships carrying certain goods shipped from both countries will be subject to random shore inspections upon arrival in Australia.

Why is the brown marmorated stink bug a problem?

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), or Halyomorpha halys, is an agricultural pest that feeds and can seriously damage fruit and vegetable crops. The pest has spread from its original range in East Asia to form established populations in North America and Europe, but is not yet present or widely established in countries like China. Australia, New Zealand and Chile. Like the Asian gypsy moth, the marmorated stink bug is considered a “hitchhiking pest” that can be spread via ocean-going ships as part of international trade. When BMSB adults seek shelter from the cold during the winter months, they tend to end up in shipping containers, vehicles, machinery, parts, and similar types of goods.

The stink bug requirements primarily target importers of goods. They cover the responsibility of importers to ensure that certain types of shipments have been properly processed and certified before being shipped from countries with established stink bug populations. However, as vessels infested with stink bugs may be refused entry into some countries, it is also important that vessel operators and their crews are aware of the seasonal stink bug measures applicable at all times. Crews should remain vigilant for the presence of stink bugs and other exotic insects on board and report any detections on board to quarantine authorities at the ship’s destination.

Not sure if the insect aboard your ships is a BMSB? Click hbefore discover.

New Zealand and Australia have joined forces to avoid the virus

In response to the rapid expansion of the stink bug in Europe and North America, New Zealand and Australia continue to apply seasonal measures to prevent stink bugs from entering their countries. The two countries have also worked closely to align their requirements as much as possible and at the time of writing their list of “targeted risk countries”, approved treatment options and offshore treatment providers are identical. However, there are still differences in port of entry requirements and procedures between the two countries due to sovereign regulations and policies and all stakeholders in the import and shipping industries including captains ship and crew, must therefore be familiar with the requirements of each country. countries to ensure compliance.

This year’s risk season started on September 1, 2022 and we encourage members and customers to visit the Australian and New Zealand authorities’ BMSB websites for detailed and up-to-date information on their respective seasonal measures:

While the framework of both countries’ metrics remains essentially the same as last season, the following should be noted:

  • The seasonal measures apply to certain goods, such as vehicles, machine parts, tyres, etc., manufactured or dispatched from a targeted risk country on or after September 1, 2022 and which arrive in New Zealand or Australia before April 30, 2023 (inclusive). The measures may also apply to ships that dock, load or transship from targeted at-risk countries during the same period.
  • The date of shipment, as shown on the bill of lading, is the date used to determine when the goods were shipped.
  • No new countries were added to the list of “Targeted Risk Countries” prior to the 2022/23 BMSB risk season, and the list now consists of the following 38 countries:

  • However, Australian authorities have identified China and the UK as “emerging countries at risk”. This means that ships carrying goods manufactured, shipped or transhipped in both countries could be subject to random shore inspections upon arrival in Australia. While goods shipped from the UK are subject to random inspections throughout the 2022/23 BMSB risk season, the requirement only applies to goods shipped from China between September 1 and December 31, 2022 ( included).
  • Australian authorities continue to pay particular attention to ro-ro vessels docking, loading or transshipping in targeted at-risk countries during the BMSB risk season and New Zealand is maintaining its particular attention to goods imported from Italy .
  • All stink bug treatment providers in targeted at-risk countries must be registered under the joint overseas stink bug treatment provider program of both countries, a program that aligns treatment options, rates and compliance requirements. Information on the joint program can be obtained through the BMSB websites of both countries.
  • New Zealand and Australia will not carry out stink bug treatments for each other, i.e. goods destined for Australia cannot be treated for the stink bug marbled in New Zealand and vice versa.
  • Non-conforming goods, i.e. goods subject to mandatory offshore treatment that arrive untreated or treated by an unlicensed treatment provider, are likely to be directed for export upon arrival.
  • The changing risk status of BMSB will be continuously reviewed throughout the season and both countries may adjust their seasonal measures accordingly, e.g. ex. based on stink bug detections.

Undesirable in Chile too

Similar BMSB management measures also apply to vessels arriving in Chile. The Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Service (Servicio Agricola y Ganadero (SAG)) declared the stink bug a quarantine pest and requires inspection and fumigation of certain imported products, primarily from the United States.

Following interceptions of shipments of used clothes, toys, shoes and vehicles, a new resolution entered into force in 2018 (No. 971/2018 as amended by No. 5607/2019) which requires the fumigation of these goods arriving in Chile from the United States. An overview of Chile’s actions to manage the BMSB risk is available HERE, however, we recommend that you contact shipping agents to verify the BMSB measures in place at any given time.


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