16 April 2013
This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders of the release of the Final report for the non-regulated analysis of existing policy for fresh lychee fruit from Taiwan and Vietnam.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) recommends that the importation of fresh lychee fruit to Australia from Taiwan and Vietnam be permitted subject to a range of quarantine conditions.
The final report identifies fruit flies, litchi fruit borer and mealybugs as quarantine pests that require measures. The department’s permit issuing staff will take account of the measures set out in the final report in considering applications for permits.
Australia has existing quarantine policy that allows the importation of fresh lychee fruit from China and Thailand, subject to specific quarantine conditions. Following requests for market access from Taiwan and Vietnam, Australia initiated a non-regulated analysis for the importation of fresh lychee fruit from Taiwan and Vietnam.
The non-regulated analysis commenced on 20 December 2011 (Biosecurity Advice 2011/23). A draft report was released for stakeholder consultation on 22 November 2012 (Biosecurity Advice 2012/24) until 1 February 2013. Following stakeholder consultation, all comments received were carefully considered in the preparation of the final report.
The report identifies two fruit flies, the litchi fruit borer and seven mealybugs as quarantine pests that require measures to manage biosecurity risks to a very low level in order to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).
Regional differences were identified for one quarantine pest, a mealybug species, for Western Australia. The recommended quarantine measures take account of this regional difference.
This report recommends a combination of risk management measures and operational systems that will reduce biosecurity the risk associated with the importation of fresh lychee fruit from Taiwan and Vietnam into Australia to achieve Australia’s ALOP, specifically:
- pest management measures including:
- cold disinfestation treatment or vapour heat treatment (VHT) for the management of fruit flies
- cold disinfestation treatment; or orchard control, inspection and remedial action; or orchard freedom for the management of litchi fruit borer
- visual inspection and remedial action for the management of mealybugs
- irradiation for the identified quarantine pests
- supporting operational systems for the maintenance and verification of phytosanitary status.
The policy will be taken into account by DAFF officers when considering import permit applications for fresh lychee fruit for consumption from Taiwan and Vietnam, in accordance with the Quarantine Act 1908 and Quarantine Proclamation 1998, as amended.
The release of this final report is an administrative step and is not the final step in the entire import process. There are a number of other steps that must be completed before imports can commence.
Importantly, a work plan will need to be developed with the biosecurity authorities of Taiwan and Vietnam, respectively, for them to demonstrate that their phytosanitary systems comply with Australia’s import requirements.
DAFF may visit Taiwan and Vietnam to audit the implementation of agreed import conditions and measures, including registration of production sites, operational procedures in packing houses and any treatment practices.
No import permit will be issued until DAFF is completely satisfied that import conditions are consistent with measures proposed to manage biosecurity risks, and that Taiwan and/or Vietnam are able to comply. The issuance of an import permit is a regulatory process that is subject to judicial review.