New Zealand and Australia: Stink bug warning 2019-2020

Invasive species

Published: 18 September 2019

Credit to: Marco Uliana /

Skuld would like to advise its members that the risk season for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is from 1 September 2019 until 30 April 2020. Members with vessels trading to Australia and New Zealand should ensure that the crew onboard are aware and familiar with the BMSB seasonal management measures.

Treatment or cleaning of cargos onboard in the country of origin may be required. Crew should report any presence of BMSB and other exotic insects upon detections onboard to the relevant quarantine authorities at the port of destination. There are significant consequences if stink bugs are found or intercepted, and in some cases vessels have been turned away from ports or even the territorial waters.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, or Halyomorpha halys, getting into New Zealand and Australia are a serious pest for agriculture and horticulture and can be a social nuisance. Like the Asian Gypsy Moth, the BMSB is considered a hitchhiker pest that can spread via oceangoing vessels. They seek shelter from cold weather during winter season and find their way into equipment, vehicles, machinery and other types of cargo.

On 22 July 2019, Biosecurity of New Zealand released a revised vehicle and sea container import health standard with the 2019-2020 BMSB season requirements.

Importers must meet the requirements under the Import Health Standard for Vehicles, Machinery, and Parts:

Importers must also meet the Import Health Standard for Sea Containers:

Importers of targeted vehicles, machinery or parts from the following countries must meet The New Zealand Ministry for primary Industries (MPI)'s requirements to manage the risk of BMSB getting into New Zealand.

Albania France Montenegro
Andorra Georgia Netherlands
Armenia Germany Romania
Austria Greece Russia
Azerbaijan Hungary Serbia
Belgium Italy Slovakia
Bosnia and Herzegovina Japan Slovenia
Bulgaria Kosovo Spain
Canada Liechtenstein Switzerland
Croatia Luxemburg Turkey
Czech Macedonia USA

Importers must provide documentation to MPI showing that the cargo meets the requirements of the IHS for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts. If the cargo requires BMSB management under the Standard there is the option of MPI-Approved System management or treatment with an MPI-Approved Treatment before the cargo arrives in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Ministry for primary Industries (MPI) released new versions of the Import Heath Standard for Vehicles, Machinery and Parts and the Import Heath Standard for Sea Containers form All Countries. Both standards include major changes to the requirements of importing goods to New Zealand from countries known for having BMSB.

Members are advised to refer to the Australian Government's website Seasonal measures for Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) for full overview of all current target high risk as well as the applicable measures to be complied: Treatment requirements for the 2019-20 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season

The Australian Department of Agriculture highlighted some of the activities ahead of the BMSB season for 2019-2020.

  • All roll-on-roll-off / PCTC vessels will be subject to thorough inspection.
  • Mandatory treatment for BMSB target high risk goods/cargos.
  • Goods exported from one of the target risk countries on or after 1 September 2019 and that arrive in Australia before 1 May 2020 will be subject to BMSB inspections.
  • Cargos as target risk goods will be subjected to random inspections onshore.

For more detailed information kindly visit the websites of Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Biosecurity New Zealand.