Urgent and drastic anti-Khapra Beetle action is being taken by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
High risk plant products will be banned. Pest-free phytosanitary certificates from all countries will be demanded. Verification of pest-free statement may be demanded.
Treatments of all containers and empty boxes is under consideration but Shipping Australia has strongly opposed these options which would cause global container congestion and impose massive additional costs on all container movements. “The focus should be on treating all high risk cargoes to ensure that containers do not become infested,” SAL CEO Rod Nairn said.
As was raised in a recent edition of our “Signal” newsletter and on our website Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is a growing biosecurity threat to grain and oilseed products around the world. It can also seriously infest cargo – even packed and plastic-wrapped cargo.
The Department of Agriculture has this morning (13 August 2020) issued a notice that it is planning urgent action on Khapra Beetle infestations.
Importers of plant products, freight forwarders, customs brokers and high-volume specialist operators will be affected.
Among the urgent actions are:
- Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia from all countries as unaccompanied personal effects and within low value air and sea freight;
- Extending phytosanitary certification verifying freedom from Trogoderma species to all high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways from all countries. This measure will require government officials of the exporting country to certify that consignments are free from all Trogoderma species, including Khapra Beetle; and
- Introducing mandatory offshore treatment of high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways from countries determined to pose an unacceptable Khapra Beetle risk (these measures will not apply for seeds for planting).
Action under consideration
- Additional actions for lower risk plant products (e.g. other seeds and flours not listed as high risk, dried fruits and vegetables) are also being considered;
- Additional actions to not only demand phytosanitary certificates but to require verification of freedom from Khapra Beetle are being considered;
- Additional actions to manage the risk of Khapra Beetle in ocean shipping containers is being considered and may include treatments of ocean shipping containers prior to the loading of goods and also the treatment of empty containers.
Goods that have been thermally processed and commercially manufactured and packaged such as retorted, blanched, roasted, fried, boiled, puffed, malted or pasteurised goods, and commercially manufactured frozen food and frozen plant products or oils derived from vegetables or seed will be exempt.
The measures will be phased in over time starting this month, August 2020.
Further details can be found on the Department’s website: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/industry-advice/2020/127-2020