Trailer Magazine

Container load compliance update to combat stink bugs

  • Posted on Tuesday 12th, February 2019.

The Italian Fumigation Association (IFA) has decided to impose more stringent loading requirements to ensure compliance, following the discovery of stink bugs found in containers inspected in Australia last year.

VISA Global Logistics National Manager – Customs Audit & Compliance, Sam Curro, said 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," he said, explaining that for containers to be heat treated in Italy, the commercial impact will be: a reduction of cargo capacity of approximately 15 per cent; a cost to the supplier to obtain pallets of other additional packing materials; and a likely increase in the cost of 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."

The exotic brown marmorated stink bug, according to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, is not found in Australia and is a pest of 'considerable' biosecurity concern to Australia's agricultural industries. Juveniles and adults reportedly feed on, and can severely damage, fruit and vegetable crops. They are also nuisance pests as adults and enter vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers in autumn months, looking for places to shelter over winter.

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