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Paper vulnerable to stink bug plague

Friday, 03 May 2019
By Wayne Robinson

Stink bug: call the minstry of Agriculture immeadiately if you see one of these

The latest issue of industry bible Pulp & Paper Edge reports that printing papers being imported into Australia from the US and Europe are at risk of stink bugs, and as such will be subject to inspection at local ports.

It estimates treatment costs for any papers found with stink bugs will range from $12-$48 a tonne. It does not say if inspection costs will be added to the paper or be borne by Border Security.

Rapid expansion of the infestation of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in Europe and North America has plagued global trade over the 2018-19 risk season, as many importers of pulp, paper, paperboard and printed material have experienced.

In response, Australian authorities have announced the 2019-20 BMSB risk season will see 32 countries on the strengthened seasonal measures list, up from 10 for the current season. The BMSB risk season runs from 1 September to 30 April each year.

Pulp, paper and paperboard and printed material will remain in the ‘risk’ category, requiring increased inspection, in most cases. Wood products remain in the ‘high risk’ category and will continue to be subject to mandatory treatment.

The paper and board at risk comes to about 280,000 tonnes, of which around 63,000 tonnes are form the US, 38,000 from Canada, 42,000 from Germany, 28,000 from Italy and 22,000 from the Czech Republic.

The Australian Department of Agriculture says at least 300 plant species would be at severe risk if the stink bugs gained a foothold here.

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