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28°c Hay Point, AU

Restrictions & Sanctions

Australian Asian Gypsy Moth Regulations

Current Regulations

  • Commencement of AGM vessel assessment and inspection arrangements 2018 under Australia Industry Advice Notice No.06-2018 issued by the DAFF.
  • Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS)
  • First points of entry (FPOE)
  • Vessel Compliance Scheme (VCS)

AGM requirements

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, DAFF requires all vessels that have visited a far east Russian port between 40°N to 60°N, and west of 147°E anytime between 1 July and 30 September in the previous two calendar years provide an AGM freedom certificate.

The certificate must be issued by the agriculture authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Russia or the United States of America. If the certification is issued by the Russian agriculture authorities, the certificate must include the date and time of departure from the port where the vessel was inspected for AGM and cleared.

If the Master of a vessel requests a Certificate of Freedom from Asian Gypsy Moth to be issued a full AGM inspection will be conducted by the department.

Where to find the vessel’s AGM Certificate
The Master and the vessel’s port Agent will receive the Certificate as a PDF attachment to an email after an inspection. Only the vessel’s Agent and the department has access to the electronically stored Certificate in MARS.

AGM related requirements

Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS)

MARS  is an online web portal for commercial vessel masters and shipping agents to submit pre-arrival documents required of all international vessels seeking Australian biosecurity clearance.

As part of the pre-arrival reporting process, all relevant vessels will be sent an AGM questionnaire through the MARS. MARS has functionality to view information related to the status of your vessel.

The completed questionnaire has to be returned to the Maritime National Co-ordination Centre (MNCC) and assessed. Vessel will be notified if a targeted AGM inspection is required as part of the first port arrival formalities.

All Pre-arrival reporting using MARS ensures that:

  • the biosecurity risk of each vessel entering Australian waters is assessed
  • all biosecurity risk posed by vessels is adequately managed.

Where a vessel inspection does not meet the department‘s standards, additional directions or corrective actions will be issued by a biosecurity officer.


  • Vessel Operator Responsibilities
    The operator of the vessel is obligated to accurately report information in accordance with Section 193 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. This information must be lodged in MARS no later than 12 hours prior to arrival.
  • Shipping Agent Responsibilities
    Where the vessel operator uses a shipping agent, the agent is responsible for lodgement of accurate and timely information into MARS. The agent must ensure that this information is a true and correct representation of the reports provided by the vessel operator, and that any changes have been confirmed with the operator.

First points of entry (FPOE)

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015, all international vessels and goods become subject to biosecurity control on entering Australian territory (12NM offshore).

Such vessels must only enter Australia at ports that have been determined as first points of entry under section 229 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, unless permission has been granted by the department to enter a non-first point of entry (under subsection 247(2) of the Act).

This is to ensure that vessels enter Australia at a location that has appropriate facilities and personnel to manage the biosecurity risks to an acceptable level.

Vessels may only enter an FPOE after:

  1. Submitting mandatory pre-arrival reporting form using MARS;
  2. Receiving advice on biosecurity, pratique and berthing conditions from the department as Biosecurity Status Documents (BSDs); a single source of information for biosecurity directions and advice for each voyage

Vessel Compliance Scheme (VCS)

A scheme developed by DAFF to help vessels comply with the biosecurity requirements and also allow vessels to reduce physical inspections over a defined voyage cycle if they qualify and remain under the VCS. The VCS uses a demerit action list and associated points that determine the vessel eligibility under the VCS.

Commercial vessel operators must meet  the following requirements to be eligible for the VCS and qualify for reduced intervention:

  • A minimum of 3 voyages to Australia in a 12 month period
  • Below the individual inspection threshold of 10 points for a voyage
  • Below the collective threshold of 20 points over 3 voyages.


Gypsy moths pose a high biosecurity risk to Australia because of their tendency to hitchhike and their high reproductive rate. If gypsy moths established in Australia they would be extremely difficult and expensive to manage, partly because of their broad host range.

Australia is now operating under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (BSA) which DAFF administers and this act relates to the management of diseases and pests that may cause harm to human, animal or plan health or the environment. AGM requirements fall under the BSA which replaced the Quarantine Act 1908 in 2016.

As such, DAFF is responsible for making sure that all vessels arriving in Australia from overseas must comply with Australia’s biosecurity laws and International Health Regulations.


Asian gypsy moth season strikes again

The Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) season has struck again. It starts from late May to September which is considered the high risk AGM period.  So a vessel which has called at a port in the regulated AGM area during the specified risk period of the current or previous year will be considered a vessel of high AGM risk. These vessels are required to comply with the relevant AGM regulations ( for example, a so-called AGM approved certificate) issued by the regulating countries, namely, Australia, Canada, Chile, USA and New Zealand. 

Members are advised to refer to our AGM section for information and guidance. 

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Regulations

Joint-measures by Australia and New Zealand to keep out Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs ( BMSBs). 

There has been an increasing widespread of the BMSBs throughout Europe and North America. In response to that and to keep these bugs out of their countries, New Zealand and Australia have come together to tighten up their measures to ensure that seasonal measures in place are consistent whenever possible to make compliance easier for vessels carrying cargoes to these countries. 

They have introduced a joint ‘Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers Scheme’. A list of approved treatment providers for the 2020/21 BMSB risk season is jointly maintained by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Department of Agriculture in Australia and published on both websites.

Note also that the list of targeted list of countries having BMSBs has increased for both countries to 37 countries now with Kazakhstan, Moldova, Portugal and Ukraine being added for the current season of 2020-21.  The following countries have been identified as emerging risk countries and may be selected for a random onshore inspection: 

Belarus, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, United Kingdom and Chile 

The governments are also monitoring other countries through a lower rate of random inspections and this includes all remaining European countries, China, Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, South Africa and Uruguay. 

Australian Brown marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSBs) requirements

BMSBs pose a high biosecurity risk to Australia. This is an invasive pest, native to Asia, and is highly capable of hitchhiking, highly mobile in nature and lack of effective lures. They can severely impact the Australian agricultural industries as well as a nuisance pest to homes, vehicles and factories, seeking shelter in these areas over the winter. They are more frequently found on goods arriving in Australia between September and April, coinciding with the late autumn and winter seasons in the northern hemisphere. 

Due to the high risks posed by BMSBs, the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) has introduced seasonal measures to manage these risks. For the 2020-21 BMSB risk season, heightened biosecurity measures will apply to:

1) certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries, and/or
2) vessels that berth at, load or tranship from target risk countries

from 1 September 2020 and that arrive in Australian territory by 31 May 2021 (inclusive).These seasonal measures will apply between 1 September 2020 and 31 May 2021; both dates inclusive.

Goods shipped between 1 September 2020 and 30 April 2021 need to be treated, and will be referred for intervention if they arrive by 31 May 2021 (inclusive).

For goods that are shipped prior to 30 April and arrive after 31 May, they may be subject to intervention as required.


Between 1 September 2020 and 31 May 2021, the department has seasonal measures for vessels to manage the risk of BMSBs.

All roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) vessels that berth at, load or transship in target risk countries from 1 September 2020 and arrive in Australian territory by 31 May 2021 (inclusive). will be subject to the following:

  • seasonal pest questionaire as part of their pre-arrival reporting
  • directed to perform a self-inspection and report findings through the Seasonal Pest Questionaire
  • undergo a mandatory seasonal pest inspection on arrival in Australia

RoRo vessels will only be exempt from mandatory seasonal pest inspections when they can demonstrate that all cargo has:

•Been treated by a BMSB approved method, or;
•Is covered by an approved Safeguarding Arrangement, or;
•Complies with New, Unused and Not Field Tested (NUFT) criteria,
•No insects have been detected on board.

Other vessels must report the detection of any insects as part of their ordinary pre-arrival reporting. When BMSB, or other actionable exotic species are reported, the vessels will be directed to perform a self-inspection.

Australia offers a Vessel Seasonal Pest Scheme which is an alternative vessel clearance pathway for RoRo vessels. For more details to apply to the scheme, refer to Australia Vessel Seasonal Pest Scheme information section.

Target risk countries

Any target high risk or target risk goods manufactured in, or shipped from these countries are subject to the BMSB seasonal measures.  Any vessel that that berths at, load or tranships from these countries are also subject to BMSB seasonal measures:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Montenegro
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America
  • Japan (heightened vessel surveillance will be the only measure applied).

Target high risk or target risk goods 

Some goods manufactured in, or shipped from the target risk countries as sea cargo have been identified as target high risk or target risk goods. To view the list as well as how these goods should be subject to BMSB treatments, please click on this DAWR link here.  In general, the only target high risk goods will require mandatory treatment. Mandatory offshore treatment of target high risk goods shipped as break bulk cargo, including goods shipped in open top containers or on flat rack containers, will be required. Untreated break bulk or treated by an unapproved treatment provider will be denied discharge and be directed for export on arrival. 

Containerised cargo - mandatory offshore and onshore treatment of target high risk goods shipped in sealed six hard sided containers will be required. LCL and FAK containers with target high risk goods will be managed at the container level for BMSB risk prior to deconsolidation. Containerised cargo (other than LCL and FAK containers) will require mandatory offshore or onshore treatment of target high risk goods shipped in sealed six hard sided containers and deconsolidation or segregation of goods will not be permitted. 

All target high risk and target risk goods will be subject to increased onshore intervention through random inspection. 

Throughout the season, the measures based on detections of BMSB and the risk pathways would be continuously reviewed.

Relevant links:

New Zealand BMSB requirements

The BMSB risk season starts on 1st September and the BMSB measures apply to new and used  target vehicles, machinery, and parts exported from BSMS-risk countries during the BMSB-risk season; on or after 1st September and which will arrive in New Zealand (NZ) before or on 30 April. The measures also apply to sea containers from Italy during the BMSB-risk season.

There is one exception to this rule: BMSB management is not required if target vehicles, machinery, and parts are loaded into a fully enclosed container which is sealed before 1 September and then exported before 1 October of the same year.

To assess whether your import of vehicles, machinery and parts arriving as seafreight to NZ have to meet the BMSB requirements, check the import health standard, 31 August 2020 where the various commodities are listed as some types may be excluded from the measures. 

For vehicles, machinery and parts to comply with BMST measures, they must be treated by an MPI-approved offshore treatment provider before arrival in New Zealand. Note that there are no MPI-approved treatment providers in Australia. Goods bound for New Zealand cannot be treated for BMSB in Australia. For full details, see Import Health Standard, 31 August 2020

Note also that there are transshipping requirements to comply with if these goods manufactured in a non-BMSB-risk country are transhipped through a BMSB-risk country on their way to NZ. See section 9.2 of the Import Health Standard.  

Relevant links:
NZ BMSB requirements info page 
NZ BMSB requirements for importers
Special BMSB requirements for sea containers coming from Italy.
Ships arriving and hitchhiker pests.
Stink bug warning to importers


Chilean BMSB requirements

Servicio Agricola y Ganadero (SAG) Resolution No. 971/2018 (Spanish only), requiring fumigation of goods from United States to Chile. This resolution was further amended in 2019 (No. 5607/2019) to include measures applicable for used vehicles and vehicle parts.  

Members operating ships to Australia, New Zealand and Chile are urged to familiarise themselves of the above BMSB requirements and compliance and for translation to get local agents to arrange accordingly. 


Trading restrictions (Australia)

Trading restrictions imposed against Australia

Trading restrictions imposed by Australia

  • Asian Gypsy Moth Regulations
    See: Australian Asian Gypsy Moth Regulations
  • Fiji: Arms embargo
  • Iranian sanctions
    On 29 July 2010, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade announced new sanctions  against Iran supplementing existing United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran.
    The new measures include
    • Targeted financial sanctions:Restrictions on financial transactions involving designated individuals and entities which contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs; or assist Iran to violate its sanctions obligations.
    • Travel restrictions: Restrictions on visas to travel to Australia by individuals who contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs; or assist Iran to violate its sanctions obligations.
    • Arms and strategic goods and services embargo: The range of goods and services prohibited for supply to Iran has been expanded to include any items, or related services, that could contribute to Iran’s nuclear or missile programs, as well as heavy military equipment. In addition, the Iran Regulations now prohibit the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to ballistic missiles.
    • The new sanctions also prohibit the provision of bunkering services for Iranian vessels without prior authorisation from the Foreign Minister.
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea sanctions
    Vessels flying the DPR Korean flag are banned from Australian ports since 10 October 2006.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolutions



Restrictions & sanctions (Australia)