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BMSB Measures Continue for Sea Freight Shipments from Italy

Monday, May 28, 2018

Due to a significant amount of BSMB (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug) found on sea freight shipments from Italy, all containerised goods require approved treatment. The treatment applies for cargo shipped between 1 September 2017 and 30 April 2018. However, FTA (Freight & Trade Alliance) and CBFCA (Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia) have now received confirmation that the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources will continue to profile cargo until mid-June based on the documents provided.

Background on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

BMSB, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, is an insect that does not exist in Australia. As it feeds on a wide range of fruit and vegetables and quickly reproduces, it is considered an agricultural pest that can severely damage local crops.

Native to Asian countries like China, Japan, Kora and Taiwan it can now also be found in Europe and the USA. The bug looks for shelter in houses and any kinds of buildings or structures starting at the beginning of autumn to hibernate throughout the winter (northern hemisphere). This is when the risk season begins for imports to Australia.

In Asia, a particular wasp is a native predator to the bug, which controls the population. In countries with no natural predators like the US, Italy or Europe in general, a number of treatments are being researched. Though, as the bug is reproducing and spreading quickly, no treatment has been successful in extinguishing an entire population so far.

As a result, containerised cargo from Italy and the US needs to be fumigated with approved treatments such as methyl bromide fumigation.

Imports that apply to BMSB measures

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has mainly targeted shipments from Italy. But due to the detection of bugs on a number of vessels from Asia and also the US, the department has extended the assessment and inspections for various cargo.

Extended BMSM measures after the risk season

Unlike the previous year, the department has extended BMSB measures after the risk season (1 September 2017 and 30 April 2018) in the form of profiling for Italian consignments. The profiling of cargo will be continued until mid-June. This means, if imported goods from Italy hit a profile, the shipper is required to present documentation for assessment. The assessment team will determine if the freight was shipped prior to or after the 30th April and process accordingly.
For more details on your cargo, please contact your C.T. Freight service person.

Additional charges

For any sea freight cargo that hits a profile, an upfront document fee of $30 is automatically charged by the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources. If your consignment is not considered as a risk and no documents need to be assessed, this fee may be refunded in the form of a credit. For more details on the fee, please see your quarantine documents or contact your C.T. Freight service person.


  • 20-2018 – Revised Assessment and Inspection Arrangements for Management of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Risk Vessels, 23 February 2018, accessed 28 May 2018,
  • 2017-18 BMSB season measures, 15 March 2018, accessed 28 May 2018,–from-italy
  • Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB), 15 March 2018, accessed 28 May 2018,
  • Biosecurity alert: Brown marmorated stink bug, 1 May 2018, accessed 28 May 2018,
  • 40-2018 – Conclusion of the 2017-2018 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Risk Season, 3 May 2018, accessed 28 May 2018,