WERKENDAM, July 2023 – With another BMSB season approaching, carriers, freight forwarders, exporters, and everyone involved in the logistics of goods to Australia and New Zealand, are awaiting the new, perhaps again tightened import regulations for next season. In the calm before the storm, we look back on the past season 2022/2023 with Roy van Hattum, Team Leader EWS Fumigation & Bio Treatment, and Marta Mottin, General Manager. Both work at EWS Group, respectively in the Netherlands and Italy.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
BMSB is the abbreviation for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, a bug-like insect that was previously not known to occur in Europe. Marta remembers the arrival of the insect to Italy very well. “The bug was first observed in the Reggio Emilia region”, she says. “It caused enormous damage to crops. After consultation with various universities in both Europe and Asia, it turned out to be the BMSB that had apparently ‘hitchhiked’ from China to Europe in a container. The insect had no natural enemies here, so the population grew too large too quickly and eventually posed a threat to harvests. Not only in Italy and on the European continent, but also for other countries where the bug is not a native species.”
Approved Offshore BMSB Treatment Provider
Among other countries, this is the case in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries are doing everything they can to prevent the creature from entering the country in the first place. They therefore require that incoming goods that fall into a certain risk category and are shipped from certain risk countries between 1 September and 30 April undergo BMSB treatment. This treatment must take place prior to shipment and may only be conducted by ‘Approved Offshore BMSB Treatment Providers’. EWS Group is such an approved treatment provider. Roy has his hands full managing it all.
A successful BMSB season 2022/2023
When it comes to looking back on last season, he gets straight to the point: “I have to say that it was a very successful season indeed in which we have been able to handle many different types of goods. In the Netherlands, we have our permanent location at the BCTN terminal in Alblasserdam where we conduct the two possible BMSB treatments. Containers are fumigated, and breakbulk goods such as cars, tractors, engines, etc. undergo heat treatment.”
BMSB treatments throughout Europe
However, EWS Group is not tied to one location. The company has branches throughout Europe and can perform both fumigation and heat treatment in many countries. Italy also looks back on a great BMSB season. Marta adds: “More and more European countries are added to the list of risk countries. This means that we see an increase in the number of goods that leave Europe via the Italian ports to find their way to Australia and New Zealand.”
Support from A to Z
Both fumigation and heat treatment are approved treatment methods. Regardless of the type of treatment, meticulous procedures are involved. EWS knows the way. Roy explains: “We support the customer from A to Z. We arrange the location, provide the goods with seals and documentation, and take care of the on-carriage. In addition, we ensure that the Record of Fumigation is uploaded in the Australia or New Zealand portals. This way, the government authorities of both countries have access to all processes.”
“And for good reason, so we’ve discovered”, Roy says with a smile. “Last season we were honoured with a visit from delegates from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries for an inspection. They really controlled everything! Our canisters, the PPE, the materials, our procedures, the treatment methods, the way we document them, the gas concentrations, you name it!” He continues with pride: “We passed with flying colours!”
Both Roy and Marta look forward to the BMSB season 2023/2024 with confidence. “With the experience we have gained in recent years, and the teams that are at full strength in all countries, we are ready to go, full speed ahead!”, Marta says enthusiastically. “Of course, we can only really speak of a good season when the BMSB has stayed outside the borders of Australia and New Zealand”, she concludes.
Want to know how we can serve you in the upcoming BMSB season? This is where you can find more info already, but also, please do not hesitate to contact Sean Byrne at
+44 203 9919885 for any questions you may have. We look forward to collaborating with you!