Following Australia’s implementation of the Khapra beetle rules, it requires containers imported from 40 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to be fumigated to prevent the migration of Khapra beetles into Australia which will be enforced from 12 July.
All containers from 40 designated countries, listed by Australia’s Department for Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE), will need to be treated either using methyl bromide, heat treatment, or pesticides and to be issued with a valid certificate before leaving the port of export.
The beetles are so destructive that if they enter the country, they could devastate native crops and economies. Therefore, new measures have been applied to prevent such a bad situation from happening.
According to the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), the system now being implemented by Australian authorities will act as a pilot project to developing systems to prevent the spread of many other invasive species that have been identified.
GSF senior executive James Hookham said that efforts to tackle the threat posed by invasive species will increase and the industry will need to figure out how to meet the challenges in combating the spread of “unwanted guests” sheltering inside or outside the container.
Some 220m containers are transported globally every year and the potential for disruption of supply chains because of the need to clean boxes could prove costly as well as time-consuming, slowing supply chains down.
The carrier representative, the World Shipping Council, estimates that the costs associated with cleaning containers could cost the container shipping industry up to 20 billion USD per year.