BMSB UPDATE 28 - Vessel directed to leave Australian territory
Friday, November 23, 2018
Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has received the below advice from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.:
Following significant engagement with the shipping line and its operator, the department has reached a decision in relation to the vessel at anchor and its cargo.
On 17 October 2018, a roll-on roll-off vessel, departed Japan with cargo loaded from China, Korea and Japan.
The vessel was subject to heightened vessel surveillance for BMSB.
On arrival in Australia, the department performed a routine inspection of the vessel where a significant number of exotic stink bugs (including BMSB) were detected.
A small amount of cargo had been discharged before vessel operations ceased. Discharged cargo was directed for onshore treatment with an approved BMSB treatment.
Subsequently, the vessel was directed for thermal py-fogging prior to another inspection conducted by the department.
During the second inspection, both dead and alive stink bugs (BMSB and other exotic stink bugs) were detected.
The vessel was directed to anchor at sea pending a risk management proposal to be provided to the department for consideration and approval.
The department has had ongoing engagement with the shipping line and its operators to progress a suitable risk management plan that addresses the biosecurity risk to Australia.
On 22 November 2018, departmental officers boarded and conducted additional inspection activities of the vessel and its cargo.
Officers collected additional exotic stink bugs (dead and alive), including insects collected by the crew of the vessel prior to the inspection.
A full assessment of all insects recovered from the vessel since its arrival in Australian territory has been completed by specialist departmental officers.
The department has considered these findings along with the risk management plan submitted by the vessel operator.
The continued detections of exotic stink bugs indicates the likelihood of a residual live population on board the vessel that remains undetected.
The department considers that the vessel and its cargo continues to present an unacceptable level of biosecurity risk.
To protect Australia from the risk posed by this vessel and it cargo, the department has directed the vessel to leave Australian territory.
As a result, the cargo on board the vessel has also been directed to be exported from Australian territory.
The department continues to review any BMSB detections and the risk pathways to adjust import measures as needed. Industry is expected to comply with the BMSB seasonal measures and, where possible, only load compliant cargo and/or ensure cargo is not contaminated with BMSB and other biosecurity risks.
The department is aware of industry concerns relating to delays to:
onshore fumigation of imported goods, and
capacity for storage of containers prior to treatment and/or inspection.