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

How to prevent stink bugs from getting to NZ

Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) have been found in a wide range of goods especially from countries or regions 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. They often do this in groups known as aggregations.

While some risk goods such as vehicles, machinery, and parts provide ideal sites for overwintering, BMSB may contaminate other goods.

The months between October and December are generally the highest risk months for BMSB contamination of 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

Reduced storage times during the BMSB season is a requirement of the import health standard (IHS) for vehicles, machinery, and parts,  and for the sea container IHS.

Wherever possible, limit the time that any goods are stored in the BMSB risk country especially if they are outside. This may mean making things happen faster – increasing the speed of the manufacturing supply chain or the export pathway.

Segregating goods

Segregation during the BMSB season is a requirement of the import health standard (IHS) for vehicles, machinery, and parts, and for the sea container IHS.

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 apply chemicals.

Tips for achieving segregation by physical distance

  • Separate your goods from untreated cargo or other sources of contamination by as much distance as possible. BMSB generally crawls during the winter months instead of flying large distances.
  • Leave a gap between cargo so that it is easier to visually detect 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 areas of vegetation. Where this can’t be avoided, we recommend you investigate the area for any sign of BMSB, preform visual monitoring at least once a day, and apply a residual insecticide to the goods

Tips for achieving segregation by using chemicals

Effective 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 as per 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 (APs) are approved by MPI to unpack cargo at transitional facilities and will look for any sign of stink bugs and other pests.

The public also has a legal 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, 204 KB]

On arrival guidance [PDF, 252 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 either:

  • directly to a quarantine officer
  • to MPI by freephone – 0800 80 99 66.

If you have questions about BMSB measures, email

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



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