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Alerts provide information about significant changes to import conditions. Keep informed of alerts by following individual import cases.


Notification of planned urgent actions for khapra beetle

Effective from 13 August 2020

The purpose of this notification is to advise stakeholders that within the next two months the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) will implement urgent actions to address the risk of khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) entering Australia.

Khapra beetle is Australia’s number two National Priority Plant Pest (2019). It is not present in Australia and poses a major threat to Australia’s grains, rice and nut industries through production losses and potential impacts on international trade.

Why are these changes needed:

These urgent actions are considered necessary because:

Australia currently has biosecurity requirements for many plant products that could be infested with khapra beetle. However, the department believes that the biosecurity requirements need to be expanded and strengthened to prevent a khapra beetle incursion.

Who will be affected by these changes:

Travellers, online shoppers, recipients of international mail and other stakeholders including importers of plant products, freight forwarders, customs brokers and high-volume specialist operators specialising in moving personal effects.

What types of material will be affected:

The urgent actions will be applied to the following plant products (in various raw and physically-processed forms for any end use), which have been identified as high-risk:

The following exclusions apply: goods that are thermally processed that are commercially manufactured and packaged such as retorted, blanched, roasted, fried, boiled, puffed, malted or pasteurised goods, and commercially manufactured frozen food and frozen plant products or oils derived from vegetables or seed.

What will change:

The urgent actions for high-risk plant products will be implemented through several measures and include (but are not limited to):

  1. Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia from all countries as unaccompanied personal effects (UPEs) and within low value air and sea freight (lodged through self-assessed clearance (SAC)), but excluding goods imported as commercial trade samples and for research purposes.

  2. Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia from all countries in accompanied baggage and in mail.

  3. Extending phytosanitary certification verifying freedom from Trogoderma species to all high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways from all countries - this will require government officials of the exporting country to certify that consignments are free all Trogoderma species, including T. granarium (khapra beetle).

  4. Introducing mandatory offshore treatment of high-risk plant products imported via commercial pathways from countries determined to pose an unacceptable khapra beetle risk (these measures will not apply for seeds for planting).

When will the changes commence:

The measures will be implemented in several phases. Banning high-risk plant products from entering Australia as unaccompanied personal effects and within low value air and sea freight lodged through SAC (Phase 1) (excluding goods imported as commercial samples and for research purposes) is expected to be implemented in August 2020. Additional BICON alerts will be published to notify stakeholders of the specific details of the actions and implementation dates for each phase.

The department will vary any existing permits, where required. Affected import permit holders will be contacted by the department to discuss this prior to the variation.

Will anything else change:

Additional actions for lower risk plant products (e.g. other seeds and flours not listed as high risk, dried fruits and vegetables) are also being considered and may include extending phytosanitary certification to include verification of freedom from khapra beetle. Additional actions to manage the hitchhiking risk of khapra beetle in containers are being considered for the longer term, which may include treatments of containers prior to loading of goods, and treatment of empty containers. Further consultation on the proposed container changes will occur with impacted industries prior to any change.

What happens now:

This Alert applies to the following Cases:


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