Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB): Preparing for the Australia 2023-24 Risk Season

Risk and spread of the BMSB

Map showing the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug 

A biosecurity risk

  • A potential and severe pest feeding on more than 300 plant species.
  • Often invade vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers during autumn, looking for shelter over winter.
  • Secretes a smelly chemical when threatened that can cause a burning sensation on skin contact.
  • Their smell is an aeroallergen that can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Addressing the emerging risk

  • Seasonal measures help manage risk during the high-risk season.
  • Target high-risk and target-risk goods manufactured in or delivered from the target-risk countries as sea cargo between 1 September 2023 and 30 April 2024 (inclusive) as reflected on the Bill of Lading are subject to BMSB intervention.
  • All BMSB treatment providers in target-risk countries must be approved by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), in order to carry out treatment on goods bound for Australia, details can be found on the DAFF website.
  • Target high-risk goods shipped as break bulk and including open top and flat rack containers, that arrive untreated, will be prevented from discharge and/or directed for export on arrival. This also applies when treated by an unapproved provider in a target risk country.

Target-risk countries

  • Any target high-risk or target-risk goods manufactured in, or delivered from, these countries to Australia are subject to seasonal BMSB measures.
  • Any vessel that tranships or loads goods from these countries are also subject to heightened vessel surveillance on arrival in Australia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republic of North Macedonia
United States of America

Emerging risk countries

The following countries have been identified as emerging risk countries for the 2023-24 BMSB risk season and may be selected for a random onshore inspection: United Kingdom and China.

  • China: Random inspections will apply to goods delivered between 1 September 2023 to 31 December 2023 (inclusive).
  • United Kingdom: Random inspections will apply to goods delivered between 1 December 2023 to 30 April 2024 (inclusive).
  • In addition to the target high risk goods, chapters 39, 94 and 95 will be subject to random inspections for emerging risk countries only.

Requirements by commodity type

Target high-risk goods—will require mandatory treatment

Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal
45: Cork and articles of cork
57: Carpets and other textile floor coverings
68: Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials
69: Ceramic products—including sub chapters I and II
70: Glass and glassware
72: Iron and steel—including sub chapters I, II, III and IV
73: Articles of iron or steel
74: Copper and articles thereof
75: Nickel and articles thereof
76: Aluminium and articles thereof
78: Lead and articles thereof
79: Zinc and articles thereof
80: Tin and articles thereof
81: Other base metals, cermets and articles thereof
82: Tools, implements, cutlery, spoons and forks, of base metal, parts thereof of base metal
83: Miscellaneous articles of base metals
84: Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts thereof
85: Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof, sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers and parts and accessories of such articles
86: Railway or tramway locomotives, rolling-stock and parts thereof, railway or tramway track fixtures and fittings and parts thereof, mechanical (including electro-mechanical) traffic signalling equipment of all kinds
87: Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock and parts and accessories thereof
88: Aircraft, spacecraft and parts thereof
89: Ships, boats and floating structures

All target-risk goods—will be subject to increased onshore intervention through random inspection

Mineral fuels, mineral oils, and products of their distillation, bituminous substances, mineral waxes
28: Inorganic chemicals, organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, of rare-earth metals, of radioactive elements or of isotopes—including sub chapters I, II, III, IV, and V
29: Organic chemicals—including sub chapters I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XII, and XIII
38: Miscellaneous chemical products
39: Plastics, and articles thereof—including sub chapters I and II
40: Rubber, and articles thereof
48: Paper and paperboard, articles of paper pulp, of paper, or of paperboard
49: Printed books, newspapers, pictures, and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts, and plans
56: Wadding, felt, and nonwovens, special yarns, twine, cordage, ropes, and cables, and articles thereof

All other goods—will only be subject to requirements if part of a consignment packed in a container with target high-risk or target-risk goods.

New, unused and not field tested (NUFT)—Certain tariffs that can meet all BMSB NUFT criteria will not be subject to mandatory treatment.

  • BMSB NUFT criteria relates to goods classified under the following tariff chapters only: 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88 and 89 and must have a manufacture start date on or after 1 December of the current BMSB risk season. Note: Goods that have been refurbished do not meet this criterion.
  • A BMSB NUFT declaration may be used for eligible goods delivered in sealed six hard sided containers, goods delivered as break bulk (including flat rack and open top containers) and consignments in Less than a Container Load (LCL)/Freight All Kinds (FAK) containers.

Addressing the risk of infestation

Mandatory treatment requirements: Target high-risk goods require treatment to mitigate stink bug risks.

Treatment options

  • Heat treatment
  • Methyl bromide fumigation
  • Sulfuryl fluoride fumigation

Treatment information

  • Details on treatment options can be found on the DAFF website.
  • Review the approved list of offshore and onshore treatment providers.
  • Goods must be loaded into a container and sealed or loaded onto a vessel for export from target-risk countries within 120 hours of treatment.
  • Where evidence can be provided indicating the goods were unavoidably rescheduled and loaded onto another vessel within 48 hours outside of the 120-hour post treatment window, please contact [email protected] prior to the vessel's arrival to Australia.

Navigating on and offshore treatment requirements: Offshore treatment

  • Required for target high-risk goods delivered as break bulk.
  • Includes open top and flat rack containers.
  • Target high-risk goods that arrive untreated will be prevented from discharge and/or directed for export on arrival.

Offshore or onshore treatment

  • Target high-risk goods delivered as Full Container Load (FCL) in sealed six hard-sided containers can be treated offshore or onshore at the container level by approved treatment providers.
  • LCL consignments and FAK containers will be managed at the container level prior to deconsolidation, the container must be either treated offshore or onshore before deconsolidation is permitted.
  • Target high-risk goods which have been manufactured in a target-risk country and are transported from a target-risk country to Australia, will be subject to the seasonal measures and mandatory treatment applies to the goods at the container level. No deconsolidation will be permitted prior to treatment.
  • Target high-risk goods manufactured in target-risk country, then transported from a target-risk country to a non-target risk country, to be deconsolidated and reconsolidated (hubbed) and shipped as an LCL/FAK container from the non-target risk country to Australia will be subject to the seasonal measures. Mandatory treatment applies to the goods at the container level. No deconsolidation will be permitted prior to treatment.

Packing requirements

  • To conduct an effective BMSB treatment, goods must be presented in a manner that allows the heat or fumigant to reach all external and internal surfaces of the goods accessible to the pest.

Visual of proper wrapping of commodities for BMSB prevention 

  • If the goods requiring treatment are plastic wrapped, the plastic wrapping must be slashed or adjusted to allow adequate access for the fumigant or heat to penetrate the goods for the treatment to be effective.

Close up of appropriate wrap for BMSB


Minimise delays when treatment is required

  • Potential delays on arrival due to lack of onshore treatment resources.
  • Reduce impediments by utilising offshore treatment by approved providers.
  • Provide early and accurate documentation, including all the details of treatment.
  • Expect treatment certificates to be checked for compliance.
  • Non-compliance with regulations will result in exportation of delivery.

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