Biosecurity Advice 2010/04

4 March 2010

Import Risk Analysis for Fresh Apple Fruit from the United States of America Pacific Northwest States

This Biosecurity Australia Advice notifies stakeholders that Biosecurity Australia has invoked the ‘stop the clock’ provisions for the import risk analysis (IRA) for fresh apple fruit from the United States of America (US) Pacific Northwest states.

Under the Quarantine Regulations 2000, certain periods of time in the IRA process may be disregarded such as when further information is essential to complete an IRA and that a proposer or another person can provide the information. Information on the risk posed by some quarantinable pests present in the US Pacific Northwest states and proposed quarantine measures is required and these have been requested from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Accordingly, until Biosecurity Australia receives this information, any time that elapses will not be considered as being within the regulated deadline for this IRA. A further Biosecurity Australia Advice will be issued to notify stakeholders when the clock is restarted.

Biosecurity Australia Advice 2008/06, of 17 March 2008, announced the formal commencement of an expanded IRA under the regulated process to consider a proposal to import fresh apple fruit from the US Pacific Northwest states (Washington, Oregon and Idaho). This IRA had a regulated timeline for completion by 17 September 2010 (within 30 months from the commencement).

The draft IRA was released on 22 October, 2009, for a 60 day stakeholder comment period and eight submissions were received.

Biosecurity Australia has considered stakeholder submissions to the draft IRA report and is preparing a revised draft IRA report that will be reviewed by the Eminent Scientists Group. However, prior to finalising the revised draft IRA report, Biosecurity Australia requires additional information from the USDA that is essential to the completion of the report. Specifically Biosecurity Australia needs information for some quarantinable pests present in the US Pacific Northwest states that supports an unrestricted risk estimate that achieves Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP), or proposals for quarantine measures, with satisfactory supporting information, that would reduce the risk to achieve Australia’s ALOP.

The Quarantine Regulations 2000 contains the provision that certain periods of time may be disregarded in circumstances where delays are not attributable to Biosecurity Australia. This is referred to as the ‘stop the clock’ mechanism in the Import Risk Analysis Handbook 2007 (updated 2009). Specifically, it has been determined that additional information is essential to complete the IRA and that the USDA is able to provide that information. Therefore, the decision has been made to ‘stop the clock’ on this IRA.

The clock will be restarted when this information has been provided by the USDA and it has been demonstrated that either the unrestricted risk estimates for all quarantine pests achieve Australia’s ALOP, or that specific quarantine measures can be applied that will reduce the risk to achieve Australia’s ALOP. A further Biosecurity Australia Advice will be issued to notify stakeholders when the clock is restarted.

Dr Colin Grant
Chief Executive

Contact: Vanessa Findlay
Tel: +61 2 6272 3933
Fax: +61 2 6272 4333
Email: Plant Biosecurity

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