Brown marmorated stink bug: requirements for importers

Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) are a serious pest for agriculture and horticulture and can be a social nuisance. We don't want them in New Zealand. If you're importing vehicles, machinery or parts, or sea containers from Italy, check what BMSB requirements may apply to you.

Imports that must meet BMSB management measures

The BMSB management measures apply to:

  • new and used target vehicles, machinery, and parts exported from BMSB-risk countries during the BMSB-risk season
  • sea containers exported from Italy during the BMSB-risk season.

Details of requirements

Refer to the relevant web page for details of the measures. This includes the risk countries, when the measures apply, and the types of cargo affected.

Vehicle, machinery, and parts

Sea containers from Italy

Alignment of BMSB management between New Zealand and Australia

MPI (the Ministry for Primary Industries) in New Zealand and DAWE (the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment) in Australia have aligned the measures for BMSB management as much as possible. The main areas of alignment are risk countries, treatments, and the approved treatment providers who can carry out BMSB treatment before targeted goods arrive in New Zealand or Australia.

Importers, exporters, and agents involved with importing goods into New Zealand and Australia must understand the requirements for each country to ensure compliance. There are some differences you should be aware of, especially around the targeting of commodity types.

Expand All
Differences between New Zealand and Australian BMSB management measures

BMSB management differences: 2020/2021 season


New Zealand requirements

Australian requirements

Targeted countries

37 countries are targeted for BMSB management (includes Japan).

36 countries are targeted for BMSB management (Japan receives heightened vessel surveillance only).

Targeting of goods from risk countries

Vehicles, machinery and parts (VMP) are targeted from 37 countries under the VMP Standard.

VMP Standard [PDF, 565 KB]

All sea containers (and the inner goods) exported from Italy are also targeted due to higher BMSB populations. Some Italian goods may be sensitive to treatment and are permitted alternative BMSB management under the SEACO Standard.

SEACO Standard [PDF, 320 KB]

VMP as well as other tariff classifications are targeted across all 36 BMSB risk countries equally.

Tariff classifications

Approved system management

MPI approved system management is an option instead of before-arrival treatment.

Safeguarding arrangements (like an MPI system) may be an option for some supply chains.

Before-arrival treatment.

All BMSB treatment must be carried out before arrival in New Zealand. This applies equally to goods arriving as break-bulk and in sea containers.

BMSB treatment of goods exported as break-bulk must be carried out before arrival. Hard side FCL and FAK containers are permitted to be treated on arrival in Australia.

Commodity type exemptions

There are some exemptions for new, lower-risk types of VMP when certain criteria apply and a manufacturer’s declaration is submitted.

Some used indoor/non-targeted machinery may be excluded if criteria are met.

Some new goods may be eligible for exemption under the NUFT manufacturer’s declaration from 1 December 2020 when certain criteria can be met.

Personal effects and household goods may be eligible for exemption.

Sealing in a container before 1 September for exemption to BMSB management

VMP or Italian sea containers (and inner goods) are exempt from BMSB management when loaded and sealed within a fully enclosed sea container before 1 September. The container must be exported before 1 October, and evidence of sealing is required.

Targeted goods are exempt from BMSB management when loaded and sealed within a container before 1 September. The container must be loaded on the vessel within 21 days, and a sealing declaration is required.

BMSB season length

BMSB risk season ends when goods arrive after 30 April.

BMSB risk season ends when goods arrive after 31 May.

Note: Other minor differences between each country's policies may apply regarding storage conditions after treatment is carried out. See the appropriate MPI import heath standard for more information and to ensure your goods comply.

Importing the same goods from a BMSB risk country into both Australia and New Zealand in the same season

If you are planning to import a consignment of targeted goods from a risk county into both New Zealand and Australia in the same BMSB season (with biosecurity clearance obtained), you will need to meet both countries’ requirements.

Email to discuss the details of these situations before goods leave the export country.

How to prevent stink bugs from getting to New Zealand

Brown marmorated stink bugs have been found in a wide range of goods especially from places where there are large populations of the bugs.

As the weather turns cold in these countries and regions, the bugs look for places to overwinter. The highest risk for BMSB contamination of goods is generally from October to December.

Risk goods such as vehicles, machinery, and parts can provide ideal sites for overwintering, but BMSB may contaminate other goods.

To help reduce the chance of BMSB contaminating your goods before they are exported, you can:

  • reduce storage times
  • keep goods segregated by distance or by using chemicals.

Reducing storage times

The import health standard (IHS) for vehicles, machinery, and parts, and for the sea container IHS, both require reduced storage times during the BMSB season.

Wherever possible, limit the time that any goods are stored in a BMSB risk country especially if they are outside. This may mean making manufacturing or export happen faster.

Segregating goods

The IHS for vehicles, machinery, and parts, and for the sea container IHS, both require segregation during the BMSB season.

Segregate your consignment from untreated goods or other sources of possible BMSB contamination after treatment, or at any other time while in a BMSB risk country. This will help prevent BMSB from contaminating your goods before they are exported to New Zealand.

You can achieve segregation through physical distance or the application of chemicals.

Tips for achieving segregation by physical distance

  • Keep your goods as far as possible from untreated cargo or other sources of contamination. BMSB generally crawls during winter instead of flying long distances.
  • Leave a gap between cargo. This makes it easier to see any crawling BMSB that may be in the area before they get into your cargo.
  • Store goods indoors wherever possible. Monitor the storage facility for any sign of BMSB, and shut the facility up at night.
  • Don’t store goods close to vegetation. Where this can’t be avoided, look for any sign of BMSB, perform visual monitoring at least once a day, and apply a residual insecticide to the goods.

Tips for achieving segregation by using chemicals

  • Chemicals can be applied to prevent BMSB from contaminating goods before export. A residual insecticide should be used which will provide some lasting surface protection from BMSB and other pests.
  • We recommend bifenthrin, cyphenothrin, esfenvalerate, permethrin, or silafluofen applied at the maximum label rate.
  • The insecticide should be re-applied every few days, or after rain.

How we ensure measures are working

To make sure BMSB management measures are working, MPI inspects specific goods arriving from BMSB-risk countries throughout the season.

Accredited persons are approved by MPI to unpack cargo at transitional facilities and look for any sign of pests.

The public has an obligation under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to notify MPI if they see any risk pests, such as BMSB.

How to report pests to MPI

We encourage the use of BMSB traps

Light traps help operators quickly find and respond to BMSB. Manufacturers, importers, and shipping line operators are encouraged to use traps to monitor for the presence of BMSB. This should be done in:

  • manufacturing and storage facilities
  • loading ports
  • shipping vessels.

Resources for the BMSB risk season

MPI has 2 documents to help importers, agents, shipping lines, and ports during the BMSB risk season.

Import stages for BMSB season has information on who is responsible at each stage of the importing process, and what they can do to ensure compliance.

On arrival guidance details what MPI is doing with both vessels and cargo.

Import stages for BMSB season [PDF, 552 KB]

On arrival guidance [PDF, 197 KB]

Find out about BMSB

The BMSB fact sheet [PDF, 1.6 MB]

What we're doing to try to stop the bugs settling in New Zealand

BMSB Pest Risk Assessment [PDF, 3.5 MB]

Who to contact

If you see insects on imported goods, report them to:

  • a quarantine officer
  • MPI's Pest and Disease Hotline – 0800 80 99 66.

If you have questions about BMSB measures, email

Any changes to the BMSB measures will be published on this website.

Last reviewed: