Interim Measures for Fumigation Changes

DAWR has issued interim measures for inspection of containers that have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride fumigation, allowing unpack without a biosecurity officer present.


The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has issued Notice 15-2019 addressed to importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, treatment providers, and those associated with containers and unpacking of goods that require biosecurity intervention. 

This follows earlier notices 05-2019 and 12-2019 concerning the review of current procedures the have resulted in an interim measure, to amend directions specific to post treatment inspection of FCL, FCX and LCL consignments at the container level, subject to supervised seals intact full unpack inspection.

From the 30th January 2019 DAWR requires Customs Brokers and Self-reporting Importers to report containers that have been treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride when lodging the import declaration. DAWR now also requires consignments that have been directed for a rural tailgate or tailgate inspection to have details of Sulfuryl Fluoride treatment included on the entry.

Under the new interim measure, effective immediately, DAWR has removed the current requirement for supervised seals intact full unpack inspection for containers that have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride fumigation. Containers that have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride and currently held pending inspection will have these directions amended and will be allowed to be unpacked without biosecurity officer presence.

Importers shipping consignments to Australia during the Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season should ensure their stakeholders are aware of the risk of BMSB infestation and the importance of preventing infestation prior to shipping.

All operators either under an approved arrangement and 77G depots are reminded to be vigilant and immediately contain and report any instances of biosecurity detections, including live BMSB and/or insects.

When deconsolidating goods, care should be taken to inspect locations where BMSB may congregate, including crevices or protected areas of shipping containers, inside the goods, or within packaging material. If BMSB are detected, operators and staff must follow normal procedures to secure goods to limit any movement of insects and notify the department immediately.


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