NNF 2019/087 - Proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures


Proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures


As referenced in IIAN 43-2019, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources hosted a series of industry information sessions and a webinar for the proposed 2019-20 BMSB seasonal measures.

The sessions provided industry with the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposed measures. CBFCA representatives attended the sessions and we provide the following summary on the key proposed changes:

  • Target High Risk countries for 2019-2020, going from 9 to 32 in total, plus heightened vessel surveillance for Japan (similar to the current season).
  • Mandatory offshore treatment for less than container load (LCL) consignments and freight of all kinds (FAK) containers of target high risk goods shipped in sealed six sided containers. Note: The Department will undertake further industry consultation on this, and we will participate in any future meetings to represent our members.
  • Heightened surveillance on all roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) and general cargo vessels will continue to be conducted through additional pre-arrival reporting with a BMSB questionnaire and daily checks conducted by vessel masters.
  • Safeguarding arrangements - the department is working to develop policies to allow for certain goods and supply chains to be recognised under safeguarding arrangements for the 2019–20 season.

More information can be found on Fact Sheet provided by the Department at the sessions. To download the Fact Sheet click HERE.

Any questions relating to the policy for seasonal pests can be emailed to spp@agriculture.gov.au

We were informed the Department will soon be updating the BMSB webpage at www.agriculture.gov.au/bmsb to include the proposed seasonal measures, fact sheet, copy of presentations from the sessions and link to the recorded webinar to support industry in preparation for the next season.

The Department advised industry the additional countries will result in around 10 to 15% increase in volume and they are doing their best to resource relevant areas, but did not provide assurance their client service standards can be met all the time, and industry can expect some delays.

We raised again our concerns related to service delivery, as the biggest impact on members is in the areas of Assessment Services Group, Inspection Services Group and Client Contact Group.  

As referenced in past newsflashes, the Inspector-General of Biosecurity, Dr Helen Scott-Orr conducted an Independent Review of the effectiveness of the Department biosecurity measures to manage the risks of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) entering Australia.

We lodged a formal submission and our message was clear:

"If the Department continues to do the same thing, the end result will be same. It is time for a change, and the CBFCA is advocating for modernisation of the service, administration, operations, systems, and not just the Biosecurity Act modernisation, that places more obligation and infringement notice penalties on the biosecurity industry participants".

The CBFCA looks forward to the findings from the review, and we will continue to work with the Department to achieve a win/win outcome, as only in partnership with industry, the biosecurity risks can be managed. 

We will keep you informed of any further developments as the BMSB seasonal measures will continue to challenge the biosecurity system and industry.

Tags: Bugs | Stink |