Dragon fruit from Indonesia - draft report

​​​A review of biosecurity import requirements for fresh dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.) from Indonesia

We are conducting a risk analysis for fresh dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.) from Indonesia.

We will conduct the risk analysis in three key steps:

  1. Announce the commencement of the risk analysis on 14 December 2017, via Biosecurity Advice 2017-28 and the Announc​ement Information Paper. We will conduct a scientific review of the group of pests associated with fresh dragon fruit from Indonesia.
  2. Release the draft risk analysis on 17 January 2018, for a 60 calendar day public consultation period, closing 19 March 2018.
  3. Release the final risk analysis before the end of 2018, following consideration of stakeholder comments.

A summary of the risk analysis is available in the factsheet.

This risk analysis is funded through the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to strengthen biosecurity surveillance and analysis.

Make a submission

Stakeholders were invited to submit written comments on the draft risk analysis during the 60 day public consultation period. The consultation period closed on 19 March 2018.

Comments received will be considered in preparing the final risk analysis.

Draft risk analysis

The draft risk analysis considers the biosecurity risks that may be associated with the importation of commercially produced fresh dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.) from Indonesia, for human consumption in Australia. The risk analysis proposes risk management measures to reduce the risk of introduction of quarantine pests and to achieve the appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia.

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Purpose of the risk analysis

We initiated this risk analysis in response to a market access request for the importation of fresh dragon fruit from Indonesia.

Scope

This risk analysis considers the potential biosecurity risks associated with the importation fresh dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.) for human consumption from Indonesia.

The risk analysis covers all commercial dragon fruit cultivars of the genus Hylocereus produced for export in all Indonesian dragon fruit production regions.

Summary of risk analysis and proposed measures

The risk analysis identified seven pests associated with fresh dragon fruit from Indonesia that meet the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) criteria for a quarantine pest.

The identified quarantine pests are: melon fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae), oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), grey pineapple mealybug (Dysmicoccus neobrevipes), papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus), coffee mealybug (Planococcus lilacinus), Pacific mealybug (Planococcus minor) and Jack Beardsley mealybug (Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi).

The pests associated with fresh dragon fruit from Indonesia are the same, or of the same pest groups, as those associated with dragon fruit from Vietnam, with the exception of the papaya mealybug. The department has existing import conditions for dragon fruit from Vietnam. In addition, the papaya mealybug has been previously assessed in the risk analysis for fresh mango fruit from Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand . Based on this information, we propose that the existing import conditions for fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam will mitigate the risks posed by the quarantine pests associated with dragon fruit from Indonesia.

This risk analysis proposes the following risk management measures, combined with operational systems:

  • For fruit flies: area freedom, irradiation or vapour heat treatment.
  • For mealybugs: visual inspection upon arrival, and remedial action if pests are present.

General information

Register as a stakeholder

The Biosecurity Plant Division uses the stakeholder register for distributing biosecurity risk analysis policy information to registered stakeholders. Stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service. By subscribing to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant, you will receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy.

Protecting Australia from exotic pests

We undertake comprehensive risk assessments of pests and diseases and identify risk management options to address any risks of exotic pests and diseases. These measures reflect Australia’s overall approach to the management of biosecurity risk.

Zero risk is impossible. Aiming for zero risk would mean no tourists, no international travel and no imports of any commodities. Australia invests heavily in biosecurity to ensure risks are managed to the lowest possible level.

Australia exports almost two-thirds of its agricultural produce. The future of our agricultural and food industries, including their capacity to contribute to growth and jobs, depends on Australia’s capacity to maintain a good animal and plant health status.

Australia accepts imports only when we are confident the risks of pests and diseases can be managed to achieve an appropriate level of protection for Australia.

International obligations

All World Trade Organization (WTO) members are signatories to the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the SPS Agreement), under which they have both rights and obligations.

The basic obligations of the SPS Agreement are that SPS measures must:

  • be based on a risk assessment appropriate to the circumstances or drawn from standards developed by the World Organisation for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention
  • only be applied to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health
  • be based on science
  • not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between WTO members, or be a disguised restriction on trade.

Under the SPS Agreement, each WTO Member is entitled to maintain a level of protection it considers appropriate to protect human, animal or plant life or health within its territory – in other words, its appropriate level of protection.

Appropriate level of protection

The appropriate level of protection (ALOP) for Australia is defined in the Biosecurity Act 2015 as ‘a high level of sanitary and phytosanitary protection aimed at reducing biosecurity risks to very low, but not to zero’. This definition was agreed with all our state and territory governments and recognises that a zero-risk stance is impractical.

The ALOP is a broad objective, and risk management measures are established to achieve that objective.

Read more about Australia’s ALOP

Biosecurity risk

The term ‘biosecurity risk’ is used to describe the combination of the likelihood and the consequences of a pest or disease of biosecurity concern entering, establishing and spreading in Australia.

Australia's biosecurity system protects our unique environment and agricultural sector and supports our reputation as a safe and reliable trading nation. This has significant economic, environmental and community benefits for all Australians.

New scientific information

Scientific information can be provided to us at any time, even after a risk analysis has been completed. We will consider the information provided and review the analysis.

Meeting Australia’s food standards

Imported food for human consumption must satisfy Australia’s food standards. Australian law requires that all food, including imported fresh fruit, meets the standards set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and the requirements of the Imported Food Control Act 1992. Each state and territory also has its own food laws that must be met.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) is responsible for developing and maintaining the Food Standards Code. The standards apply to all food in Australia, irrespective of whether it is grown domestically or imported.

Timing of imports

The recommendations in the final report are an administrative step and reflect the completion of the risk analysis. Before imports can commence we will:

  • verify that a country can action the recommended risk management measures
  • publish import conditions on the Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON), and
  • issue import permits for trade to commence.

The decision to import agricultural produce to Australia is a commercial decision between an importer in Australia and a supplier in the exporting country who can meet the import conditions.

Contact information

For more information, stakeholders can email plant stakeholders or phone +61 2 6272 5094.

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