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Khapra Beetle Urgent Actions

Planned urgent actions for Khapra Beetle – Phase 6A: new measures for target risk sea containers.

Following on from our announcement of 22 September 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) has announced commencement of Phase 6A of the planned urgent actions for Khapra Beetle.  Phase 6A was brought forward for release due to an increase in detections of Khapra Beetle in shipping containers, including from countries where Khapra was not known to usually occur.

Phase 6A will introduce offshore treatment requirements for target risk sea containers from 12 April 2021. To comply with the new measures, all target risk containers exported on or after 12 April 2021 must be treated and accompanied by a valid treatment certificate or phytosanitary certificate.

What are target risk containers?

A target risk container is defined as a:

Note: ISO tanks, reefers, flat racks, LCL /FAK and containers that will be shipped as empty containers are excluded from the measures.

What are the requirements for target risk containers and when do they start?

Target risk containers must be:

The target of these treatments is the container and not the goods/commodity being shipped within the container. This means that the container must be treated prior to packing, except if using methyl bromide fumigation.

The start date for these requirements depends on the type of target risk container:

Type of target
risk container

Implementation Date
How to comply

FCL/FCX container where high-risk plant products are packed
into the sea container
in a khapra beetle 
target risk country

12 April 2021  (i.e. containers exported on or after 12 April 2021).

Containers must be treated offshore prior to packing* using an approved treatment option and accompanied by a valid treatment certificate.
*Note: treatment of containers already loaded with goods is acceptable for methyl bromide treatment only.
FCL/FCX container where other goods are packed into the sea container in a khapra beetle 
target risk country and destined to a rural grain growing area of Australia
Mid-2021 (we will advise of the implementation date as soon as possible)

Containers must be treated offshore (prior to packing*) using an approved treatment option and accompanied by a valid treatment certificate.
*Note: treatment of containers already loaded with goods is acceptable for methyl bromide treatment only.

Note: Failure to comply with these requirements will result in export of the container upon arrival in Australia.

Rural grain Growing areas.

DAWE have developed a list of postcodes that will be used to classify rural grain growing areas. The list is available below.

Postcodes for rural grain growing areas PDF

Postcodes for rural grain growing areas DOCX
If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Approved treatment options

  • Methyl Bromide fumigation
  • Heat Treatment
  • Insecticide Spray

Onshore treatment

Onshore treatment will not be currently offered as a standard practice as movement of untreated containers currently poses an unacceptable risk. This is because khapra beetle could be dislodged from the container into the environment when moving the container from the port to a treatment facility.

Onshore risk mitigation options will only be considered in exceptional circumstances or when the department’s in-transit policy is enacted.

Exceptional circumstances

Goods that are imported for the use of delivering emergency services are considered an exceptional circumstance. In this situation, onshore risk management options will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Importers are required to submit any exemption requests in writing to the department (imports@agriculture.gov.au) and receive approval prior to unloading goods in the Australian Territory. Please note that submission of a request does not mean automatic approval is granted.

Additional material

Further communication material, such as infographics and fact sheets, will be developed and published by DAWE as soon as possible.
Note: This presentation has been updated since the information sessions to ensure it aligns with the current policies detailed on this webpage.

Phase 6B

Phase 6B is expected to commence in late 2021 and will introduce measures to a broader range of containers (i.e. all high-risk containers). Further information about these measures, including details on consultation, will be made available by DAWE.

These measures are in addition to Phase 1 implemented in August 2020 and Phase 2 implemented in October 2020. 

Further phased measures will be introduced in the coming months and will be the subject of another broadcast.  Should you have any questions relating to these actions please contact Harders Advisory.

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