The Australian Government is working with our Pacific neighbours to improve trade and biosecurity in the region. We are better together and can achieve more this way.
Together we can:
- stop the spread of pests and diseases
- maintain, and expand market access opportunities
- secure sustainable food systems across the region.
Here are a few of the ways we are supporting our partners.
We are delivering 8 activities in this program.
This program is jointly funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the department) is working with our Pacific neighbours to protect our respective agriculture and food systems, stop the regional spread of pests and diseases, maintain, and expand market access opportunities, support regional economic prosperity and food security, and safeguard our environment and our way of life.
1. Pacific trade and market access support
We’re supporting and promoting safe trade in primary and value-added products from Pacific Islands Countries and Territories (PICTs)to Australia by improving capacity to understand and comply with associated import requirements.
DAFF resources have been dedicated to address biosecurity issues and improve efficiencies with exports from PICTs to Australia
To do this, we’re:
- prioritising and resolving Pacific trade and market access issues
- supporting training in how to develop import conditions and conduct risk assessments.
2. Upgrading the Pacific Island Pest List Database
We’re upgrading the Pacific Island pest list database. The database will become the trusted primary source of data on plant pests, plant hosts and pest distribution.
PICTs and international trading partners can use it when planning to import and export plant products.
Partners: DAFF, Pacific Community (SPC)
3. Generic ePhyto National System (GeNs)
Certain products exported from a Pacific country to any other country must have a phytosanitary (plant health) certificate. It’s easier and safer to send the certificate electronically rather than as a hard copy.
We’re helping Southwest Pacific countries to:
- implement GeNs
- train officers to use the electronic phytosanitary system (ePhyto).
This will make trading with Australia and other countries with the ePhyto system easy and cost effective.
Partners: DAFF, (SPC)
4. Pacific Export Pathway Operational Training
There are many steps along the export pathway. From growing and sourcing produce, to preparing produce for inspection, treatment, and approval to leave the country.
We are working with our partners to develop training. Our biosecurity operational training program targets:
- staff from Pacific National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs)
- people involved along the plant export pathway.
The program will help people understand Australia’s Import requirements. It aligns with international and regional standards.
We have piloted the program in Fiji and are working closely with BAF to deliver the whole training program in country. We plan to deliver the training in Samoa and Solomon Islands as well.
Partners: DAFF, SPC, PHAMA Plus and Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF)
5. Solomon Islands Biosecurity Development Program – Phase 3
We’re building on our earlier work with BSI. We’re strengthening the Solomon Island’s biosecurity system and how they engage with industry.
The program will support and strengthen scientific, operational, and corporate capacity within BSI. It will help the Solomon Islands’ prevent, prepare, respond to and manage biosecurity risks. These risks include priority plant pests and animal diseases.
Partners: DAFF, Ministry of Livestock (MAL)
6. Regional Trade and Market Access Communication Strategy
We’re improving how we communicate with countries in the Pacific. We’re providing easy to access information about pests and diseases, our biosecurity system and how we work.
Our new tools and regular updates will help you stay informed and better connect with us.
As a member of the Pacific Engagement and Communication Network (PECN), we meet regularly with communication professionals based in the Pacific to share resources and help us better understand your needs.
Partners: DAFF, DFAT
7. Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) Training
Departmental Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) trainers recently delivered Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme (AFAS) methyl bromide fumigation training for 20 officers from the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA) of PNG, 10 representatives from the PNG fumigation industry and 4 from Solomon Islands. Government representatives also received training on compliance verification of industry treatment providers.
Partners: DAFF, DFAT, Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI) and National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA)
8. Sea Containers: Offshore Quality Systems
To create awareness amongst trading partners (NPPOs) of the biosecurity risks associated with the movement of contaminated sea containers and increase their confidence in the management of sea containers, the department will work with identified Pacific countries to build capacity and conduct scoping audits to assist the countries in establishing and expanding their Offshore Quality Systems. This work will support PICTs to strengthen their risk management capabilities to support biosecurity outcomes.
Partners: DAFF, DFAT
Our Memorandum of Understanding with PHAMA Plus supports the delivery of activities in alignment with Australia's commitment to the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus). to strengthen economic growth with signatory countries.
Partners: DAFF, PHAMA Plus
The scheme is a voluntary biosecurity agreement developed by industry. It manages the biosecurity risk from importing sea containers from certain countries.
Agreements can be made between the Australian Government and:
- another country’s government
- an entity. For example, a shipping line, container processing facility or port authority.
If you are part of the scheme, you must meet our sea container hygiene requirements. You can benefit from a reduced inspection rate on your external containers when they arrive in Australia. If you keep complying, your inspection rate can reduce to as low as 5%.
This lowers your:
- inspection fees
- cleaning and treatment fees
- container dwell-times on wharf.
Partners: DAFF, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
If the fumigation treatments performed offshore are not effective, it poses a high biosecurity risk. This scheme manages this risk. It is only available in certain countries.
We train treatment providers and government officers on how to meet methyl bromide fumigation requirements.
Treatment providers must register to be included in a list of providers. They are only successful once they show their capacity and willingness to comply with the requirements.
By using a registered provider, you ensure your goods are treated to meet Australian standards.