The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) will implement new measures for sea containers from 12 April 2021 to counter the rapid global threat from Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium).

Khapra Beetle is a vigorous and persistent infester and eater of plant product and has been recorded infesting more than 100 commodities, including grains, rice, and most dried plant products. Due to its small size and preference for inhabiting crevices, Khapra Beetle can survive undetected under floors and in cracks and crevices in sea containers without food for up to six years. Once a food source is present (e.g., grain residue), khapra beetle can re-emerge. In favourable conditions, the population can increase rapidly and contaminate any goods held within the container.

The Department argues that if Khapra Beetle were to enter Australia there would be significant economic costs to Australia of approximately A$15.5 billion over 20 years and posing a significant threat to our grains industry and 80% of our grains exports would be at risk.

We strongly encourage all customers to review the measures and start your discussions with suppliers now to ensure your shipments meet the mandatory offshore treatment requirements as failure to comply will result in export of the container upon arrival in Australia.

What are the new measures and when do they start?

The new measures will be implemented in two stages. Phase 6A (target risk containers) will have a staggered implementation commencing 12 April 2021 and Phase 6B (all high-risk containers) is expected to commence in late 2021 with information about the measures to follow.

Target risk containers must be treated offshore prior to loading the goods as the target of these treatments is the container and not the commodity (except if using Methyl Bromide fumigation). Treatments must be performed using a DAWE approved treatment option within 21 days of export accompanied by valid certification. Failure to comply with the new measures will result in export of the container upon arrival in Australia. ISO tanks, reefers, flat racks, LCL and FAK containers are excluded from the measures.

The Phase 6A measures for target risk containers can be found HERE.

What are Target Risk Containers?

There are two types of target risk containers with staggered implementation dates depending on the type of target risk container.

• full container loads (FCL) or full consolidated containers (FCX) carrying high-risk plant products loaded in a Khapra Beetle target risk country (implementation 12 April 2021).
• full container loads (FCL) or full consolidated containers (FCX) carrying other goods loaded in a Khapra Beetle target risk country and destined to a rural grain growing area of Australia (implementation mid 2021).

What are High-Risk Plant Products?

Goods categorised as high-risk plant products include grains, rice, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, beans, seeds, and certain dried foodstuffs. FCL or FCX containers to be loaded with goods in this category in a Khapra Beetle target risk country must be treated offshore prior to packing and within 21 days of export using an approved treatment option and accompanied by a valid treatment certificate.

A full list of high-risk plant products can be found on DAWE’s webpage HERE.

What are Rural Grain Growing Areas?

DAWE has developed a list of postcodes that will be used to classify rural grain growing areas.

A full list of postcodes can be found on DAWE’s webpage HERE

What are Target Risk Countries?

Please click HERE to see a list of Khapra Beetle target risk countries. DAWE are actively monitoring global detections and reports of Khapra Beetle and the list is subject to change.

What are the approved treatment options, rates & requirements?

Methyl Bromide fumigation, heat treatment and insecticide spray are the only approved treatment options for target risk containers. Containers must be treated within 21 days prior to export.

Approved treatment options, rates & requirements can be found on DAWE’s webpage HERE.

Is there a list of permitted offshore treatment providers? 

DAWE will be utilising existing offshore treatment provider assurance schemes to manage compliance of the approved treatments where possible. This includes the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) and the Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme. Treatments performed by non-AFAS treatment providers or treatment providers not approved under the Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme will not be accepted.

Permitted offshore treatment providers can be found on DAWE’s webpage HERE.

Can I have my goods treated to address both commodity and Khapra Beetle risk?

Target risk containers must be treated offshore prior to loading the goods as the target of these treatment is the container and not the commodity (except if using Methyl Bromide fumigation). If the commodity also requires Methyl Bromide treatment, treating the goods inside the container at the highest rate will meet both requirements as evidence that the treatment requirements for both commodity and Khapra Beetle have been met or exceeded.

Will my goods be subject to supervised random onshore verification inspection?

Random verification inspections will be required for high-risk plant products where stipulated in the import conditions, as well as inspections of rural destined containers.

How can I comply and reduce my risk?

Below are a few ways you can reduce your compliance risks and ensure the new measures have the least impact on your business.

• Check the risk category of your goods prior to shipping
• Check if your goods are shipped as FCL or FCX
• Check if your goods are loaded into a container in a target risk country
• Don’t ship high-risk plant products in FCL or FCX containers without a valid treatment certificate from a permitted offshore treatment provider
• Work closely with your suppliers to ensure they understand and comply with the new measures
• Secure high-quality containers where possible
• Engage with your Mondiale VGL representative or Customs Broker if you require advice

VGL will guide you through the Khapra Beetle measures to help you manage the complex requirements. We will provide continued support and keep you updated on all new developments impacting your goods.

Where can I find additional information?

Additional information on the urgent actions to protect against Khapra Beetle can be found on DAWE’s webpages by following the links below.

• Sea container measures to protect against Khapra Beetle can be found HERE.
• The Khapra Beetle story can be found HERE.

Urgent actions to protect against Khapra Beetle can be found HERE.
• Interceptions of Khapra Beetle in imported goods can be found HERE.
• Khapra Beetle Bulletin can be found HERE.

If you have any specific questions or scenarios requiring advice, please don’t hesitate to contact your VGL representative or our Customs Broker team at brokers@visaglobal.com.au.