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2011-20 - Importation of fresh taro

​3 November 2011

Biosecurity Australia Advice 2011/20 - Importation of fresh taro corms from all countries

This Biosecurity Australia Advice advises stakeholders of the release of the Review of import conditions for fresh taro corms final report. The report recommends risk management measures to mitigate the risk associated with the importation of fresh taro corms to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection.

Quarantine requirements for the importation of fresh corms of taro varieties under the genus Colocasia from all countries, for the purpose of human consumption, have been in place for many years, requiring taro corms to be topped and free of all leaf material.

Biosecurity Australia initiated a pest risk analysis (PRA) to assess the quarantine risk associated with imported taro corms in 2006. The draft report was released for comment on 16 March 2011 (BAA 2011/02). Following consideration of stakeholder comments and further consultation, the final report has now been completed.

Six quarantine pests have been identified as requiring additional quarantine measures to manage the risks to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP). These include taro planthopper (Tarophagus proserpina), taro leaf blight (Phytophthora colocasiae), colocasia bobone disease virus (CBDV), the French Polynesian strain of Dasheen mosaic virus, Taro vein chlorosis virus (TaVCV) and tomato zonate spot virus (TZSV).

The proposed quarantine measures include:

  • Inspection of taro corms on arrival to ensure that quarantine pests and other regulated articles are detected and consignments are subjected to appropriate remedial action
  • removal of all petiole material and growing points of the corm from large corm taro (Colocasia esculenta var. esculenta)
  • only importing taro corms sourced from countries declared free of taro leaf blight
  • prohibiting imports of small corm taro from countries where taro leaf blight, colocasia bobone disease virus, the French Polynesian strain of Dasheen mosaic virus, Taro vein chlorosis virus or tomato zonate spot virus are present.

Additionally, imports of taro will not be permitted from Brazil and any other country where the fungal pathogen Marasmiellus colocasiae is known to occur. The assessment of risk and the need for phytosanitary measures will be reviewed if an intent to trade is demonstrated and additional information becomes available.

Printed copies are available, if required.

 

Dr Colin J Grant
Chief Executive