24-2019 - Interim measures for goods treated with sulfuryl fluoride fumigation

19 February 2019

Who does this notice affect?

Stakeholders in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, treatment providers, Biosecurity Industry Participants, importers, customs brokers, licensed fumigators and principle agents associated with containers and unpacking of goods that require biosecurity intervention.

What has changed?

A further review of current WHS measures has resulted in interim processes relating to consignments that have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride and requiring the following biosecurity inspection:

  • seals intact
  • supervised unpack for biosecurity activities other than BMSB inspection
  • tailgate inspection

As outlined in Industry Advice Notice 05-2019 Interim process for goods treated with sulfuryl fluoride fumigation, any container that is directed for a seals intact supervised unpack inspection to verify presence of BMSB will continue to be allowed to be unpacked without biosecurity officer presence and release as long as all other biosecurity conditions/activities have been met.

These interim processes do not apply to:

  • break-bulk
  • machinery
  • containerised goods deconsolidated by an AA operator without a biosecurity officer present

Goods subject to this revised interim process will require industry to be responsible for arranging a third party sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring operator (SF operator) to be present at the biosecurity inspection to monitor for residual sulfuryl fluoride gas levels.

As per IAN 12-2019 Customs brokers and self-reporting importers must declare SF treated containers via the Entity Identifier (AEI) field in ICS when lodging the import declaration. This will enable SF treated containers to be identified via the AEI field on the printed biosecurity direction.



When consignment documentation has been assessed by the department and the goods have been treated with sulfuryl fluoride fumigation, the following direction comments will be applied to the entry:

  • Industry to request a to-meet biosecurity inspection appointment, and
  • Industry to arrange for an approved third party sulfuryl fluoride detection provider to be present at the biosecurity inspection.

 Note: The department is working on a solution that will enable these comments to be populated on AEP directions also.

At the time of inspection, the SF operator must be present at the biosecurity inspection to monitor for residual sulfuryl fluoride gas and action accordingly:

If the presence of sulfuryl fluoride...Then...
is 3ppm or less
  • the SF operator issues a gas-free certificate
  • the biosecurity officer can approach to undertake the inspection.
is greater than 3ppm
  • the container or goods must be allowed to vent before a subsequent reading is taken by the SF operator

The Sulfuryl Fluoride Register lists providers who are approved to conduct sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring services during biosecurity inspection.

All costs associated with the third party sulfuryl fluoride detection provider are the responsibility of the industry and the SF provider must invoice industry directly.

Importers shipping consignments to Australia should ensure their stakeholders are aware of the above requirements prior to shipping.
Under the Biosecurity Charges Imposition (General) Regulation 2016 and the Biosecurity Regulation 2016, fees are payable to the department for all services. Details on how the department applies fees and levies can be found in the charging guidelines.

Please note this in an interim process only - the department is undertaking a process to purchase sulfuryl fluoride detecting devices and will perform the necessary detection and monitoring in the future.

Further information

Providers listed in the Sulfuryl Fluoride Register meet the following criteria:

  • The ability to provide a current calibration certificate for the sulfuryl fluoride device they will use.
  • Confirmation (via brochure or operators manual) that the device will read sulfuryl fluoride to 3PPM in 1PPM increments.
  • Qualifications relevant to their interaction and awareness of sulfuryl fluoride, and their capacity to operate the sulfuryl fluoride device.
  • Provide certification that the presence of sulfuryl fluoride is 3PPM or less.

Providers wanting to be listed on the Sulfuryl Fluoride Register should contact Sulfuryl Flouride.

For more information visit the sulfuryl fluoride detection and monitoring providers webpage.