WELCOME TO STIMBR
Methyl bromide alternative awaiting approval
Despite recent comments to the contrary, there is an alternative to methyl bromide as a biosecurity fumigant for forest products.
It is called ethanedinitrile (EDN). An application for approval was lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in July 2017.
Extensive research, including commercial scale tests, has been completed by STIMBR confirming EDN is effective against the three pests most commonly found with forest products exported from New Zealand.
The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Hon Michael Wood approved the Safe Work Instrument for EDN in December 2020.
Once EPA approval is gained, then New Zealand government authorities can work with their counterparts in China and India to gain the necessary permissions for logs and timber products treated with EDN to enter those markets
STIMBR (Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Incorporated) brings together New Zealand industry, government and research organisations and individuals with the aim of:
Providing a united voice in support of initiatives aimed at enhancing market access and biosecurity clearances for goods and products while reducing the release of methyl bromide into the atmosphere.
The group provides an interface between users of methyl bromide, fumigators applying treatments, government departments concerned with reducing the use of ozone depleting substances, researchers seeking alternative treatments and strategies, and other affected parties.
New Zealand's Forest Exports Industry
Forestry is a vital component of New Zealand’s economy, contributing over $4.75 billion per year in export products. The majority of forest exports are required to meet strict phytosanitary requirements to gain market access to the importing country.
About Methyl Bromide
Methyl bromide is a highly effective fumigant gas that kills insects and other unwanted organisms. New Zealand timber products' exporters must use it to meet the biosecurity requirements of those countries importing their timber. Improperly used it’s a toxic gas that can adversely affect people’s health and the environment.
More detailed information about methyl bromide and its use in New Zealand as a phytosanitary fumigation treatment can be found here:
New Zealand and many other countries have signed up to the United Nation’s Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its accompanying Montreal Protocol that limit methyl bromide’s use. Methyl bromide contributes to damaging the planet’s protective ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol allows it to be used for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes, subject to demonstrable efforts to reduce emissions through containment and recovery.
Currently there are few viable alternative to methyl bromide for fumigation purposes. STIMBR in New Zealand is leading a significant research programme to find alternatives with a likelihood that there will be a number of solutions targeted to specific fumigation processes.
The following photos show export logs being treated.