DAFF Introduces the AusTreat Scheme

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has announced an upcoming policy change. They are introducing a new pre-border treatment provider assurance scheme called AusTreat.

AusTreat is a government-to-industry scheme that will replace the existing Offshore brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) Treatment Provider scheme and set the conditions for the regulation of pre-border biosecurity treatment providers.

Pre-border biosecurity treatment providers and clients in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, importers, and customs brokers will be affected by this change, as will all those associated with importing goods that require BMSB treatment during the Stink Bug risk season. (This applies to goods manufactured in or shipped from target risk countries, that have been shipped between 01 September and 30 April (inclusive) as sea cargo).

Daff has introduced the new scheme with an Import Industry Advice Notice, numbered 94-2024: “AusTreat – A new pre-border biosecurity treatment provider assurance scheme.”

AusTreat will increase the consistency and coverage of Australia’s regulation of pre-border treatment providers, keeping biosecurity risk offshore.

AusTreat has been designed to enable assurance over a wide range of target pests, treatment types and treatment providers. The scheme will have the flexibility to respond to changes in risk over time.

If a new pest emerges as a biosecurity threat to Australia, treatment providers conducting treatments for that pest will be able to register under AusTreat. This will eliminate the need to develop new pest-specific schemes following the emergence of new biosecurity pests.

Notable changes under the AusTreat scheme will include:
Registered treatment providers must submit all treatment certificates, record of treatments and other treatment data into DAFF’s treatment certificate portal, increasing assurance and improving clearance times for compliant treatments.

Registration of pre-border treatment providers will change from a 1-year renewal process to a full registration process every 3 years.

Only some information will need to be provided annually to maintain registration including:
– calibration certificates
– stewardship certificates for sulfuryl fluoride.

What’s not changing:
– Import conditions
– The list of treatment providers
– BMSB seasonal measures

From 01 September 2024, treatments conducted in BMSB target risk countries on target high risk goods manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries, will be required to be conducted by a treatment provider registered under AusTreat and listed as approved on the list of treatment providers.

Note: AusTreat will not replace or impact the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) as this remains unchanged as a government-to-government scheme.

DAFF’s contact email BMSBtreatments@aff.gov.au will be replaced with offshoretreatments@aff.gov.au however, they advise both email accounts will be monitored during the transition period.

DAFF will release further information prior to the start of the BMSB season.

See our related article, Clarifying Rules for BMSB Treatment.

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