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Australia: Seasonal Measures related to Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

The following is provided by Global Affairs Canada.

The purpose of this message is to inform you that Australia has submitted the attached notification regarding “2019-2020 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)”, applying to a wide range of manufactured products from a number of countries including Canada, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

The measures will apply to:

Australia has requested comments from WTO members on these measures by August 27, 2019.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in collaboration with other relevant departments and agencies, will prepare Canada’s official comments in response to the Australia notification.

To assist in the preparation of Canada’s comments, we would like to hear from you regarding the potential impact of these measures on Canadian exports to Australia. We request your comments/questions/concerns by Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Please submit any comments/questions/concerns to the following account at Global Affairs Canada: EXTOTT-TPF@international.gc.ca

Background:

Please review the Australia WTO notification for full details.

As stated in the notification, in response to the rapid expansion of BMSB throughout Europe and North America, Australia is strengthening seasonal measures – including requiring treatment of some products – for the 2019-2020 season to manage the risk of BMSB arriving in Australia.  Although the BMSB is considered a plant pest, it moves as a ‘hitchhiker pest’ on a range of non-agricultural products.

Target risk countries have increased from 10 in the 2018-19 risk season, to 33 in the 2019-20 season, including Canada for the first time. Other regions or countries identified include the U.S. and several European countries.

The measures will apply to certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from, target risk countries, and/or vessels that berth at, load or trans-ship from target risk countries as of September 1, 2019 and that arrive in Australian territory by May 31, 2020 (inclusive). Vessels will be subject to heightened vessel surveillance and undergo a mandatory seasonal pest inspection on arrival in Australia.

Targeted commodities are grouped into a ‘target high risk’ category, for which treatment is mandatory, and a ‘target risk’ category, for which treatment is not required but which will be subject to increased random inspection on arrival.

The list of target high risk goods, as well as other detailed information regarding the measures, is available on Australia’s Department of Agriculture BMSB web page.

Please review the list provided to determine if your sector would be impacted by these measures.

The Australian BMSB seasonal measures affect a broad range of goods, some of which will require mandatory treatment. It is important to note that goods shipped as break bulk including those on flat rack or in open top container will require mandatory offshore treatment prior to arrival into Australia territory. Goods that are shipped in sealed six hard sided containers requiring mandatory treatment may be treated offshore or on arrival in Australia. The approved treatment options for BMSB, as identified in the notification, include heat treatment, methyl bromide fumigation, and sulfuryl fluoride fumigation.

Please note that methyl bromide, sulfuryl fluoride or heat treatment providers in target risk countries must register and be approved by the Australian Department of Agriculture.

Further information on the new requirements has also been provided by the Government of Australia.

The list of target high risk goods is available at this webpage.

Australia’s BMSB web site provides information on registered Canadian treatment providers.

In addition, Canadian stakeholders with further questions on Australia’s BMSB requirements can contact the Government of Australia directly through their Seasonal Pests Policy e-mail address: SPP@agriculture.gov.au .

Wood Products Sector

For wood sector producers and exporters: please note that CFIA is already currently engaged in presenting an option to Australia relating to wood products and will be communicating separately on this. For questions and comments on wood products, stakeholders may contact the CFIA directly at cfia.forestry-foresterie.acia@canada.ca.

Canadian Bilateral Engagement with Australia / Additional information

Canada is actively engaging with Australia on the issue, seeking further clarifications and information.

Our objective is to work closely with Australia to address any concerns or questions from industry stakeholders to ensure that the new measures do not result in any unnecessary trade disruptions.

Australia Department of Agriculture (DA) officials have indicated a willingness to work with Canada to address concerns. DA confirmed that workshops for exporters and fumigators will be provided in four locations in Canada. These workshops are expected to take place in late August and early September. Details on these workshops will be provided as soon as they are confirmed

Next steps

CFIA will continue discussions with DA.

We will send to you further information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, please provide your comments/questions/concerns as soon as you can.

Yours Sincerely,

Sanitary & Phyto Sanitary Measures (TPF)
Email: EXTOTT-TPF@international.gc.ca