The brown marmorated stink bug

A tiny pest with a huge impact: to prevent the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMBS), many ocean freight imports to Australia and New Zealand are currently subject to strict regulations. Photo: iStock/Ines Carrara

Even the tiniest things can have an enormous impact on logistics. But that the tiny thing is an animal measuring less than two centimeters is a fairly rare occurrence. Farmers fear the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), who consider it a pest. A native of Asia, it has already spread to Europe and North America. To ensure that it cannot make its way “down under” as well, authorities in Australia and New Zealand have imposed strict regulations on ocean freight imports during the annual BMSB season, which has just started. This year, shipments from 33 “high risk countries” – including France and Germany, the United States, Canada and, with some qualifications, Japan – will be affected.


Many goods originating in these markets will need to be subjected to measures that are effective against this pest, such as heat treatment or methyl bromide fumigation. These measures must be carried out under precisely prescribed conditions by approved providers, in some cases in the countries of origin, and sometimes while at sea. All vessels arriving in Australia and New Zealand carrying such shipments are subject to heightened surveillance. There is some good news for shippers, however: like any season, the BMSB season will also come to an end – an end that has been stipulated by the relevant authorities: May 31, 2020.


For assistance during the 2019/2020 BMBS season, please contact DB Schenker’s team at this address:

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