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Container and bulk shippers face seasonal pest controls in Australia and NZ

Photo: ICTSI Phase 1 of Port of Melbourne expansion
File photo - Port of Melbourne
Seasonal controls for invasive species in both bulk and containerised cargoes will be applied by Australia and New Zealand from next month.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) along with the New Zealand Government, will apply restrictions on the import of containerised goods that they say are at risk of invasive species from 1 September.

Brown marmorated stink bug, originally from Japan and Korea, infestations have been blamed for millions of dollars of damage to crops, notably destroying apple crops in the US, in a 2010 infestation, at a cost of $37 million and affecting stone fruit harvests too.

Read about global efforts to combat invasive species in shipping

Restrictions will apply to selected containers and bulk cargoes shipped to Australia and NZ on or after 1 September through to 30 April next year.

A wide variety of goods have been split into target high risk and the lower hazard level of target risk groups with a broad spread of countries including much of Europe, central Aisia and the US, with the latest addition to the risky countries being Uzbekistan.

Containerised and break-bulk cargoes will need to be treated by registered providers either offshore or onshore for some containers either using heat treatments or chemicals to prevent the spread of the bugs.

China and the UK have been identified by the Australian authorities as emerging risks for the bug and containers imported in the season subject to random inspections.

Further details of approved treatment providers, the seasonal measures, the types of goods targeted and how to appoint an approved treatment provider is available on the DAFF website.