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Planned Urgent Actions for Khapra Beetle

Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is Australia’s number two National Priority Plant Pest.  They are currently found in India, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.  Like BMSB it is a hitchhiking pest, however they are very small (around 2-3mm long) and identified by their reddish-brown colour and oval shape.  They typically infest grain shipments, making them inedible.  Establishment in Australia would result in many trading partners rejecting stored produce from Australia.

The global spread of the beetle is increasing, with it recently being detected on a wide range of plant products and recently as hitchhiking pests on containers from places where Khapra Beetle is not known to occur.  Resulting from these detections, the department believes that the biosecurity requirements require expanding and strengthening to adequately prevent incursion into Australia.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will be implementing urgent actions over the next two months to address the risk of khapra beetle on high risk plant products that are known hosts of this pest.

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

  • Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum)
  • Cucurbit seed (Cucurbita spp; Cucumis spp. and 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.).

Exclusions apply to goods that are thermally processed and 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.

These urgent actions will be implemented through several measures and include the following:

  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 from 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).

These measures will be introduced through a phased approach.  Further updates will be made available here however should you have any questions relating to this please contact Harders Advisory.

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