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Commencement of urgent actions for khapra beetle: Phase 1

Effective from 28 August 2020

Following the BICON Alert issued on 13 August 2020, the purpose of this notification is to advise stakeholders that the department will commence Phase 1 of the urgent actions on 3 September to address the risk of khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) on high-risk plant products that are hosts of this pest.

Who will be affected by these changes?

Travellers, importers of unaccompanied personal effects and/or low value sea and air freight, freight forwarders, customs brokers and biosecurity industry participants operating at a Class 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 Approved Arrangement.

What will change?

From 3 September 2020, the following list of high-risk plant products (in various raw and processed forms for any end use) will not be permitted entry from any country into Australia within unaccompanied personal effects (UPEs), or within low value air and sea freight (lodged through self-assessed clearance (SAC)):

  • Rice (Oryza sativa)

  • Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum)

  • Cucurbit seed (Cucurbita spp.; Cucumis spp.; Citrullus spp.)

  • Cumin seed (Cuminum cyminum)

  • Safflower seed (Carthamus tinctorius)

  • Bean seed (Phaseolus spp.)

  • Soybean (Glycine max)

  • Mung beans, cowpeas (Vigna spp.)

  • Lentils (Lens culinaris)

  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum)

  • Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)

  • Celery seed (Apium graveolens)

  • Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea)

  • Dried chillies/capsicum (Capsicum spp.)

  • Faba bean (Vicia faba)

  • Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan)

  • Pea seed (Pisum sativum)

  • Fennel seed (Foeniculum spp.)

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

* Commercial trade samples, includes seeds imported for commercial breeding trials.

Failure to comply with the urgent actions will result in export or destruction of the goods upon arrival in Australia.

What are the commercial trade and research documentation requirements?

Goods arriving within low value freight must be imported for commercial use by an Australian company or business or for research purposes only.

To demonstrate compliance with this requirement you must present the following on a Supplier's declaration, Manufacturer's declaration, Commercial invoice or Importer declaration:

Evidence that the goods have been imported by an Australian company or business.

If evidence is presented on an importer's declaration, it must be presented on an Australian business/company letterhead.


  1. A statement that the consignment is intended for research purposes.

  2. The name of the facility where the research will be undertaken in Australia.

Where consignments are not covered by valid documentation as detailed, the consignment must be exported or disposed of at the importer’s expense.

What about UPEs and low value goods in-transit or not yet inspected?

High-risk plant products within UPEs or imported as low value air and sea freight (lodged through SAC) that have not been inspected and released prior to 3 September 2020 will not be permitted entry into Australia. High risk plant products found in consignments on inspection will be exported or destroyed.

How will import permits be affected:

Under Phase 1 existing import permits will not be affected.

Why are these changes needed?

The urgent actions are considered necessary because:

  • The global spread of khapra beetle is increasing and it is being detected on a wide range of plant products and as a hitchhiker pest on containers, from places where khapra is not known to occur.

  • Khapra beetle is a significant threat to Australian plant industries, including the grain export industry. Khapra beetle destroys grain quality making it unfit for human or animal consumption. Stored products also become contaminated with beetles, cast skins and hairs from larvae, which can be a human health risk.

  • If khapra beetle enters Australia it would have significant economic consequences. An outbreak could cost Australia $15.5 billion over 20 years through revenue losses arising from damaged grain in storage and exports.

  • Australia currently has biosecurity requirements for many 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.

Where can I get further information?

For further information, see the:

Enquiries can be directed to 1800 900 090 or via email at (please title the subject line of the email with ‘Plant Tier 2 – khapra urgent actions’).

This Alert applies to the following Cases: