What You Need to Know About the 2022/2023 Stink Bug Season

bmsb fumigation

If you’re in the import and export business, you need to keep up to date with the latest developments in the industry including the pesty stink bug! Otherwise known as the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), this insect is a threat for several reasons in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Seasonal import regulations are updated annually for the BMSB and shipping companies need to be fully aware of the stringent standards that need to be met to manage this biohazard. Safety measures such as export fumigation are essential to control and prevent a major pest infestation. Keep reading and make sure you follow the guidelines for managing the BMSB during the 2022/2023 season.


What You Need to Know About the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

A native to Asia, the BMSB is an invasive insect in other countries. It was first detected in North America in the 1990s and later, in European countries, in 2000. It’s now prevalent in over 40 countries worldwide, posing a threat to biodiversity and agriculture.

This stink bug is introduced accidentally to other countries through cargo being shipped in by sea or air freight. The BMSB invades homes, vehicles, factories, agricultural crops and protected biodiversity areas in huge numbers, causing extensive damage to over 300 plant species.

Not only can this pest annihilate entire crops, but it can cause allergic skin reactions when people are exposed to their stinky spray! The BMSB is most active during the warmer months of the year, resting over the colder winter period. However, if the temperature is high enough, the stink bug remains active even in the cold season.


What You Need to Know About the 2022/2023 Stink Bug Season

Countries such as Australia have strict regulations in place to combat a BMSB infestation. Every year it’s updated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Import and export businesses need to be fully informed of the latest seasonal measures when bringing shipments into the country.


Australian BMSB Requirements for 2022/2023 Stink Bug Season

The Department has issued an update on safety measures for preventing an invasion of BMSB into Australia for the period of 1st September 2022 to 30th April 2023. The list states the following packaging requirements:

  • Packaging: All shipped cargo must be packaged in such a way that effective BMSB treatment can be carried out.
  • Treatment requirements: All packaging must be able to withstand both heat and fumigation treatment on both external and internal surfaces.
  • Plastic packaging: If goods are packaged in plastic wrapping, adjustments must be made to allow for fumigants or heat to enter the container for effective treatment. This includes slashing the plastic.
  • Other: Packaging materials such as plastic, cardboard, pallets or timber aren’t subjected to direct BMSB measures. Pest control treatments only apply to imported goods.

Any vessel that ships in or loads goods from a target risk country will undergo strict surveillance on arrival in Australia. The department has a full list of target risk goods for shipping or freighting companies to peruse.


What is New on the List of BMSB Requirements?

The following updates have been made for the 2022/2023 stink bug season:

  • China and the UK have been added to the list of risk countries. Imported goods from these countries that fall under Tariff heading 95 (Toys, Games and Sport requisites) and 94 (Furniture) could be subjected to verification inspections.
  • Random inspections on these imported goods will take place for items shipped in from China between the 1st of September and 31st of December. Cargo coming in from the UK will be inspected during the period of 1 December to 30 April.
  • Open top containers, Breakbulk and flat racks must be fumigated or undergo other approved treatment methods offshore before being offloaded onto Australian land.
  • The 120-hour fumigation policy has been changed to accommodate cargo that’s been rescheduled for loading onto another vessel for export, unexpectedly. If sufficient evidence is provided, the timeframe is extended to an additional 48 hours.
  • Special arrangements can be approved for Inspect (unpack) Inspections in place of Secure Seals intact inspections.

New Zealand has implemented similar BMSB requirements with a few differences that should be noted by all shipping companies. Non-compliance to these regulations in both countries will result in costly delays and ineffective treatments.

Delays can be avoided by providing the correct documentation, completing fumigation offshore and working with approved treatment providers.


Final Thoughts

Partnering with an approved BMSB treatment provider such as Dawson’s Fumigation & Logistics means you can relax knowing your shipment is being handled properly. Give our team a call on 03 9314 2222 and let our skilled technicians ensure your imported goods are covered for BMSB requirements.

We follow strict biosecurity policies, keeping your goods free of pesky stink bugs while protecting Australia’s agriculture industry.