Measures to tackle the biosecurity risk of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) entering Australia may add costs and cause delays for the wine industry, according to the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA).

WFA and WISA have been in discussions with the wine industry and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, around the import measures for winemaking equipment such as oak barrels and cork.

“We have been advised that oak barrels are treated as a Target High Risk Good and have to undergo either mandatory heat treatment or fumigation by approved Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) providers, either prior to departure or on arrival to Australia” said WFA CEO Tony Battaglene.

“We have questioned this categorisation, but for the immediate season beginning 1 September 2018 through to 30 April 2019, we have been advised that any change will be unlikely.”

Other winemaking additives may also be subject to treatment through random inspection or if they are part of a consignment that contains target high risk goods. There is also a range of high risk goods that will be subject to additional onshore intervention through increased inspections.

“These measures are likely to add lead times to the shipment and or delays in clearance of goods. Additional treatment costs for shippers during the seasonal period will also be incurred, however the protection of Australia’s biosecurity is our highest priority to ensure a long-term, sustainable sector,” said WISA Executive Officer Matthew Moate.

“The cooperation of wine producers and their suppliers in understanding and managing these risks is crucial, and working collaboratively across industry will ensure as little disruption to supply as possible.”

Over the coming months, both organisations will be working with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, to determine pre-export and loading procedures that can be implemented, to reduce the BMSB biosecurity risk posed by these shipments, and allow them to be excluded from the Target High Risk category in the future.

WISA and WFA have urged grape and wine producers, suppliers and their shipping agents to prepare as much as possible to reduce delays by:

For further information about the methyl bromide or sulfuryl fluoride oak barrel fumigation treatments in particular, refer to AWRI’s eBulletin ‘Implications of fumigation and heat treatment on imported oak barrels and other products’.