As you may be aware, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has found stink bugs in containers it has inspected in Australia, that had been treated by 3 Italian heat treatment providers in Italy. This had led to their suspension late last year.

It was estimated that these 3 treatment providers were completing approximately 70% of the Italian treatments prior to their suspension. This significantly impacted the demand for offshore treatment.

As a result, DAWR representatives met with the Italian Fumigation Association (IFA) in Italy on 14 January 2019 to discuss the compliance issues and remedial action. It was identified that treatment providers were having difficulties reaching the required heat treatment temperature for the duration that DAWR required it be maintained during the current Italian winter season.

As a result of the meeting between DAWR & IFA in Italy in January 2019, IFA members have decided to impose more stringent loading requirements to ensure compliance with the treatment requirements.
All future consignments must be loaded with enough vacant space and separation between items to allow even distribution of hot air throughout the container and raise the core temperature of the consignment as follows:

  • The consignment must be loaded off the floor of the container (i.e. on ISPM15 or plastic pallets) to provide free air space under the goods and to prevent cooling influences from the ground, and
  • The consignment must be loaded with at least 30cm of free air space between the goods and the container roof.

Treatment providers have advised that containers not complying with the above will be considered unsuitable for offshore BMSB treatment and may be rejected at the export terminal and incur additional costs, and then be required to be fumigated in Australia.

Therefore, for containers to be heat treated in Italy, the commercial impact will be:

1. A reduction of cargo capacity of approximately 15%
2. A cost to the supplier to obtain pallets or other additional packing materials
3. A likely increase in the cost of the heat treatment.

We strongly recommend that you communicate these changed packing requirements to your suppliers and consider whether you still wish to have your containers heat treated in Italy or fumigated instead in Australia.If

you require any further information or wish to discuss the options of off-shore treatment verses Australian fumigation, please contact myself or your VISA representative.

Sam Curro
National Manager – Customs Audit & Compliance
D: +61 3 8325 7527
P: +61 3 8325 7500
M: +61 428 950 421

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