Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, July 2018
The factsheet provides an overview of the risk review for pomegranate fruit from India.
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- The department is conducting a risk analysis of fresh pomegranate fruit from India.
- A draft report of the risk analysis is expected to be released for public consultation in mid-2019.
- The department will consider stakeholder comments in preparing the final report, which is expected to be completed in 2020.
Risk analysis for pomegranate
This risk analysis was initiated in response to a market access request for fresh pomegranate fruit from India to Australia. Fresh pomegranate fruit is India’s highest horticultural market access priority.
As a World Trade Organization member, Australia is required to assess market access proposals and develop the least trade restrictive and scientifically justified import conditions. The same scientific principles are used by our trading partners when assessing Australian commodities.
Australia currently permits imports of fresh pomegranate fruit from New Zealand and the United States of America, provided they meet Australia’s biosecurity requirements.
A preliminary assessment of the pests associated with fresh pomegranate fruit from India has identified that the potential pests of biosecurity concern are bacteria, fungi, fruit flies, mealybugs, mites, moths and a fruit borer butterfly.
The potential quarantine pests identified are the same, or of the same pest groups, as those associated with other horticultural goods that have been assessed previously by the department and for which risk management measures are established. Therefore, this risk analysis is being conducted as a review of biosecurity import requirements (a non-regulated risk analysis).
Process for the risk analysis
The objective of undertaking a risk analysis is to ensure that any fresh products imported into Australia are free from unwanted pests and diseases. The department initially identifies pests and diseases associated with fruit or vegetables produced for export in the source country that are not present in Australia.
The assessment includes an analysis of the potential pests of biosecurity concern and recommends risk management measures if required. If there are no available risk management measures to effectively manage biosecurity risks, trade is not permitted until suitable measures are identified.
The department will verify commercial production, packing, and export practices in the source country before determining any phytosanitary measures to be applied to manage any potential biosecurity risks that do not achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.
How stakeholders can contribute
The department invites stakeholders to contribute scientific information relevant to this risk analysis at any time.
Stakeholders will be invited to comment on the draft report during the 60 calendar day public consultation period. The final report will then be published after consideration of stakeholder comments. This will complete the scientific risk analysis process.
Australia and India have a strong two-way trade relationship. India is Australia’s tenth largest trading partner with trade valued at $19.6 billion in 2016-2017. Of this amount, Australian exports to India constituted $15.12 billion.
In 2017, Australia exported $176.1 million in horticultural products to India including nuts ($168 million), fruits ($7.5 million) and other horticultural products ($0.1 million). In the same calendar year, Australia imported $6.3 million in horticultural products from India including nuts ($5.51 million), fruits ($0.39 million) and other horticultural products ($0.45 million).
Pomegranate production in India
India is one of the largest producers of pomegranates in the world, and produced approximately 2.2 million tonnes in 2015-16. Pomegranates are produced throughout the year in India; however, the peak production season is from February to May.
India currently exports pomegranate fruit to a number of countries including Bangladesh, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
Pomegranate production in Australia
The Australian pomegranate industry is small and is largely focussed on the domestic market. Pomegranate is produced in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The harvest season for Australian pomegranates is usually from March to May.
Australia currently has export market access for fresh pomegranates to Indonesia, Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Subscribe for updates
Stakeholders interested in receiving further updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s online subscription service.