BIOSECURITY AUSTRALIA ADVICE 2008/04 COMMENCEMENT OF AN IMPORT RISK ANALYSIS FOR STONE FRUIT FROM THE USA
This Biosecurity Australia Advice announces the formal commencement of an Import Risk Analysis (IRA) under the regulated IRA process to consider a proposal to import stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots) from the USA (California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington).
This analysis will be undertaken as a standard IRA, requiring completion within 24 months from announcement.
The transition of this risk analysis into the new regulated IRA process recognises the work already completed under the previous process, including pest categorisation, draft pest risk assessments and potential mitigation measures. Biosecurity Australia is presently completing a draft IRA report, which will be circulated to stakeholders by 30 April 2008 for comment.
Biosecurity Australia Policy Memorandum 2007/20 of 12 September 2007 advised stakeholders that changes to the import risk analysis (IRA) process had been implemented on 5 September 2007 when regulations made under the Quarantine Act 1908 formally took effect. That advice also notified the transitional arrangements for Biosecurity Australia’s import work program, including a number of risk analyses that commenced under the previous arrangements and were to transition to the new regulated IRA process.
The IRA on stone fruit from the USA had previously been announced as a review of existing biosecurity policy. Stakeholders were informed of this in Biosecurity Australia Policy Memorandum 2006/05 of 6 March 2006. This policy review will now be completed under the new regulated IRA process as a standard IRA.
Following the announcement of 6 March 2006, substantial work has been undertaken to progress this analysis. Biosecurity Australia therefore expects to release a draft IRA report by 30 April 2008 to enable all interested stakeholders to provide submissions and comment.
In announcing this IRA, Biosecurity Australia has considered advice from the Import Market Access Advisory Group, which was established as part of the improved IRA arrangements to advise Biosecurity Australia on priorities for import proposals.
The regulations require the Chief Executive of Biosecurity Australia to formally announce the commencement of IRAs to be undertaken under the regulated process. This announcement triggers the start of the regulated timeframe for an IRA. Further information on the new regulated IRA process can be found on Biosecurity Australia’s website .
The Government recently announced a comprehensive review of Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements. The review is expected to report by 31 July 2008. It is possible that recommendations for further improvements to Australia’s IRA process will flow from the review. Any need for further changes will be considered, in consultation with stakeholders, once the outcomes of the review are known. In the meantime, Biosecurity Australia will continue with its work program.