Strict import checks reduce biosecurity threat from brown marmorated stink bug

Strict biosecurity requirements for imported cargo have reduced the threat of brown marmorated stink bug and even tougher rules will be introduced next season.

There were 57 interceptions of live brown marmorated stink bug during the 2019/20 season (September to April) – a reduction of 73% from the previous season. Of these, 28 were detected at the border. The others were largely individual hitchhikers detected after the border with personal effects carried by arriving international passengers.

“The reduction shows the success of introducing off-shore treatment requirements to ensure high risk goods arrive clean from countries with established populations of this destructive pest,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett.

The import rules targeted vehicles, machinery and parts from 33 identified risk countries, and all sea containers from Italy during the stink bug season. Continue reading

Stink bug warning to importers

Biosecurity New Zealand has sent a stark message to shippers, agents, and importers that imported cargo must meet new rules intended to keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of New Zealand.

The importing industry needs to be aware that high-risk cargo that hasn’t been treated before arrival will not be allowed to come ashore in most instances, Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett says.

The aim is to keep out a highly invasive pest that could devastate New Zealand’s horticulture industry if it established here.

Biosecurity New Zealand formally issued new import rules on 22 July. They require off-shore treatment of imported vehicles, machinery, and parts from 33 identified risk countries, and all sea containers from Italy during the stink bug season. Continue reading

New marmorated stink bug regulations take effect on September 1

Biosecurity New Zealand has provisionally released new rules intended to keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of New Zealand.

The new regulations will apply to this year’s stink bug season, which starts on September 1 and will run until April 30.

Following consultation with industry, the list of countries that have requirements to treat imported vehicles, machinery, and parts before they arrive in New Zealand will rise from 17 to 33. These countries have all been identified as having stink bug populations.

The other big change is that imported cargo relating to vehicles will need to be treated offshore, including sea containers. Only non-containerised vehicle cargo has required offshore treatment in the past, says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett. Continue reading

Tighter import rules are aimed at stopping stink bug

New treatment and cleaning rules for imported vehicles and machinery will make it harder for brown marmorated stink bugs to make landfall in New Zealand, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The ministry released the new import health standard for vehicles, machinery and equipment today. It will come into force on  September 1 – the beginning of the stink bug season.

“Imported vehicles and machinery pose a high biosecurity risk, as stink bugs hibernate in nooks and crannies during the northern hemisphere winter,” says Paul Hallett, MPI manager of facilities and pathways.

He says the new standard has a big focus on Japan following biosecurity issues earlier this year with contaminated vehicle carriers.

There are also new restrictions on imports from many European countries, recognising the spread of stink bug through this part of the world.

“One of the big things is making it compulsory for treatment to take place offshore for non-containerised vehicles and machinery sourced from affected countries. We simply don’t want to run the risk of having contaminated cargo enter New Zealand waters.

“The new standard also covers new vehicles from Japan. In the past, we have focused on used vehicles from this country. New vehicles can be easily contaminated if they are not securely stored.”

The approved treatment options are fumigation with methyl bromide or sulfuryl fluoride and heat treatment, says Mr Hallett.

“We expect most of the imports from Japan will undergo heat treatment, as that’s going to be available locally and Japan has restrictions on some fumigants.

“We want to do everything we can to stop brown marmorated stink bug from invading New Zealand, given the damage it could cause to our horticulture industry.”

 

  • 14 more countries have been added to the list requiring mandatory treatment of vehicles and machinery during the stink bug season. This requirement previously only applied to vehicles from the United States and Italy.
  • Used imports from Japan will need to be both treated and cleaned offshore as part of an approved system during the season.
  • All other new and used imports (during the stink bug season) from other countries covered by the standard will need to be treated or go through an approved system.
  • Vehicle manufacturers will have the option of applying to MPI for biosecurity approval of their supply chain processes, avoiding the need to treat each new unit. This involves having strict controls in place to reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Used machinery from any country must have a certificate proving it has undergone thorough cleaning and treatment before arrival in New Zealand. There must be evidence the machinery was disassembled for cleaning. It must also arrive with a sticker showing how and when it was treated.
  • MPI can approve alternative treatments, but only if there is proof they can produce the same outcome as the approved methods.

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries

Biosecurity officials target vehicles and machinery from Japan

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has introduced new measures to reduce the risk of brown marmorated stink bugs arriving in vehicles and machinery from Japan.

The changes will require all used vehicles (cars and trucks) to undergo inspection and cleaning at a ministry-approved facility in Japan before they are shipped out.

Moreover, any used machinery or other types of used vehicles from Japan will require certification proving it has undergone cleaning by an appropriate provider, says Paul Hallett, MPI biosecurity and environment manager.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor meanwhile has been answering questions in Parliament on the issue

Among the questions:

Hon Nathan Guy: How many live stink bugs have been found in ships destined for New Zealand from Japan over the last week?

Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR: I’ve been unable to be in a position to count them.

Hon Nathan Guy: Is the Minister, therefore, telling the House that he’s had no formal advice from his officials as to how many stink bugs have arrived on vessels from Japan in the last week?

Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR: No, I do not have a number, but what I can tell that Minister is that, unlike himself, we identified through a rigid, robust system of inspection of the ship—before any vehicles were put off the ship, officials identified—the presence of brown marmorated stink bugs, which are a huge threat to this country. We have upped the level of compliance and scrutiny on those ships, and we’ll stand by that regardless of whether it’s two or 2,000 stink bugs. We cannot afford to let those pests into this country.

In his announcement, Mr Hallett said nearly 95 per cent of used vehicles from Japan already go through approved facilities that are designed to eliminate the risk of biosecurity threats like seeds and hitchhiking organisms such as Asian gypsy moth.

The new requirement will be compulsory for all imports.

“The changes will significantly reduce the chance of transporting dirty vehicles and machinery that could contaminate other cargo.

“The move is the result of an unprecedented spike in the number of stink bugs arriving at the border from Japan in bulk carriers.”

The ministry has already increased the level of inspection of arriving carriers and their cargo, including the use of fogging with insecticide to flush any insects out of confined spaces.

It has directed three bulk carriers to leave New Zealand this month because of excessive contamination.

Mr Hallett says the ministry will work with industry to develop longer-term options for reducing the biosecurity risk.

The aim is to find solutions that avoid the need to turn vessels around at the border. This could include treatment prior to entering New Zealand waters or finding ways of fumigating the vessels here if any detections are made.

A treatment programme will be trialled on one of the affected ships this week. The vessel will have to pass rigorous biosecurity checks for the ministry to allow the release of its cargo.